Planning for a Chicago campus began in the mid 1950s, when a number of different sites, suburban and urban, were considered. The university chose internationally acclaimed architect Walter Netsch at the Chicago firm of Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill to create schemes for four possible locations: Miller Meadows in North Riverside, Garfield Park, Northerly Island, and the rail yards south of the Loop. Miller Meadows was the university’s first choice, while Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley favored a location in the city.
In 1960 a bond issue passed earmarking $50 million for the construction of the Chicago campus. When the other Chicago sites were not available, Mayor Daley and university trustees announced the selection of our current location, which consisted at the time of 105 acres stretching south and west from the Harrison and Halsted intersection, just a mile to the west of Chicago’s Loop.