The mystery of Altgeld Hall

By Jamie Rudman

There are many buildings on campus that are often difficult to navigate through. For some students trying to find certain classrooms in the Armory is like being a rat finding that piece of cheese at the end of a maze and finding room 66 Library is no picnic to find either. Altgeld Hall is no different.
There are rumors that certain stairwells in Altgeld lead to nowhere and although Altgeld appears to be a three story building some believe it has 33 floors (the architect’s favorite number). Nathan Ricker designed the Richardsonian Romanesque building which was completed in 1897 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970. According to Altgeld Hall expert and Associate Chimesmaster Chirs Marx, both of these rumors are false. Marx said there are no mysterious hallways, “The closest thing I can think of would be one place in the library stacks where there used to be a couple steps out through a door into the receiving room which is now walled off and is a hallway.”
As for the number of floors in Altgeld Hall, Marx said, “It would depend on what you want to consider a ‘floor’.” Because of the additions on Altgeld, Marx said the floors “don’t always line up very well from front to back.â”