Normal Schools – Altgeld Castle

The Northern Illinois State Normal School was built in DeKalb thanks to the efforts of DeKalb Daily Chronicle editor Clinton Rosette, entrepreneurs Isaac L. Ellwood, Joseph Glidden, Jacob Haish, and many others. Glidden asserted political influence and donated the 72 acres upon which the original campus was built. Haish and Ellwood donated funds totalling some $30,000 and construction began on October 1, 1895.

The original campus consisted of only one building then known as “the castle on the hill” and later named Altgeld Hall after Illinois Governor John P. Altgeld, who suggested the architectural style and approved the bill allowing for its construction. The exterior structure is designed in Tudor Gothic style, in imitation of the English castles of that period. In contrast to its medieval facade, the building’s interior was built in contemporary style. (Taming the Wild Prairie – Normal Schools)



When Altgeld Hall was completed in 1899, it housed the entire university; Classroom, Boardroom, Library, Gym, Lecture Hall and Administrative Offices.  In 1999, the Capital Development Board approve a rehabilitate and restore effort.  This project took 5 years and it reopened in Sept. 2004. (Altgeld Hall History)




Along the breezeway between buildings they’ve built this really cool skeletal glass covering. I have to believe there would be some interesting shots within that structure






Even still, there is a lot to look at phtographically just on the outside.  Be sure to put the campus on your bucket list if you visit DeKalb.  There are several very beautiful examples of Architecture.  Other examples will be posted in the Gallery as I shoot them.



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