In 1938, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe began his 20-year tenure as director of IIT’s School of Architecture (1938-1959). The university was on the verge of building a brand new campus, to be one of the nation’s first federally-funded urban renewal projects. Mies was given carte blanche in the large commission, and the university grew fast enough during and after World War II to allow much of the ambitious new plan to be realized. From 1943 to 1957, a slew of new Mies buildings rose across campus, culminating in his final, grandest, and most refined work, S.R. Crown Hall, then and now the home of the College of Architecture and a National Historic Landmark.
The IIT campus is a showcase for the design solutions that Mies and his followers pioneered solutions that transformed the city spaces and skylines of the world. Enthusiasts of modern architecture from across the globe have long been attracted to the Mies campus. The Mies van der Rohe Society has restored two core Mies buildings – Crown Hall and Wishnick Hall. Fundraising will continue to restore the rest of Mies’ masterpieces at IIT, including Alumni Memorial Hall, Siegel Hall, Perlstein Hall, and the Robert F. Carr Chapel.