Before the South Loop Campus

Below I’ve collected and annotated a few pictures from Columbia College Chicago by R. Conrad Winke and Heidi Marshall. As you can see, Columbia has modest roots, shifting classes, offices and dorms from one building to the next around the Chicago area.


The above building was once on 24 East Adams Street. It was built in 1888 for the sake of artists, with offices and art galleries. The college moved out in 1895 and into the seventh floor in Steinway Hall on 64 East Van Buren Street.

In 1916, Columbia relocated to the Libby mansion on 3358 South Michigan Avenue where the college rented it for everything from office space to dorms to classrooms from the widow of a wealth meat-packer until 1925.


Here is the reception hall of the female dormitory:


And the dining room:


The music room:


The bedroom:


Below are pictures of female residence halls on 3409 and 3415 S Michigan Avenue taken in 1922.





Stay tuned for pictures of the early South Loop campus as you know it today.

About Calley Nelson

Calley Nelson is a freelancer based in Chicago who enjoys collecting records, going to rock shows, and writing fiction. She is currently Director of Communications at Lpdeezign and the editor of I AM FEMINISM MAGAZINE. Follow her @calleynlsn
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