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Ranking the top 10 buildings on campus

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Not all real estate is created equal.

UI Public Affairs: Stauffer

There’s not a whole lot of collegiate sports going on at the moment (or any, really), so why not do some good ol’ fashioned rankings?

As a former student in Champaign, I loved bickering with acquaintances in other majors about which college and majors and, in turn, which buildings, were superior to others. So I felt it necessary to set the record straight.

NOTE: This is not an exhaustive list. I don’t need any architecture majors coming after me because I left off Temple Hoyne Buell Hall. There’s probably like 200 buildings on campus, I just picked a few of them. OK? OK.

10. The Armory

This building stinks. It was one of the main classroom buildings when my dad was on campus IN THE MID-1960s. The only redeeming feature is that you can see the track from some of the hallways, and wave to the athletes. Aside from that, it’s lay out is more complex than a labyrinth. Want to go to room 210? You take one set of stairs. 255? Sorry, that’s a different set of stairs. Having my first-ever college class at the Armory at 8 a.m. was a disaster. End of story.

9. Noyes Lab

I was lucky enough to not have classes in Noyes, but all my friends that did complained about it. Apparently, it is wicked hot in the summer due to lack of A/C. This hot temperature is even worse if you are in the top few rows of the theater-style lecture hall on the first floor. Come to think of it, I actually had a final in that lecture hall. It didn’t go so hot (ba-dum-bum-tss).

8. The Union

I guess this is where I can start getting a little nicer. The Union is a classic building, which many students remember from their first visit on campus. In the spring and fall, it overlooks the quad and is a pretty great backdrop to the heart of campus. There is food on the lower level and events happening all the time. Plus, there’s a patio on the north end of the quad where you can do homework and still feel like you’re in the thick of everything. That being said, it’s definitely an outdated building. My senior year, there were rumors that the entire thing would be redone, but nothing has come to fruition just yet.

7. Altgeld Hall

The Union’s neighbor just to the west might be the most iconic building on campus. If the Illini are ever playing on a nationally-televised game, they like to do some B-roll footage of Altgeld with its tower looming over Alma Mater. It’s a beautiful sight. Plus, the building itself looks like it belongs in Harry Potter. The downside to this is that it, much like the Armory, is difficult to navigate. It seems as if there are random stairs all over the place. Anyway, it’s not the worst place to have a class.

6. Grainger Library

Probably the worst thing about Grainger is that it’s often difficult to find a table during finals week. The building has tons of space, white boards, and rooms to do group work. There’s even an Espresso Royale on the first floor. If you can find the quieter areas and none of those damn engineering majors give you any trouble, it’s actually a good spot to do some work.

5. ACES Library

The ACES Library is criminally underrated. It sits on the south quad, just a minute or two walk past the UGL. If my friends and I really needed to get some studying done, we would skip the usually-packed UGL and hit ACES. Depending on the time of year, you can find some really good spots in there to study. The building itself is newer and nicer than the UGL, and generally I found it was easier to get work done.

4. BIF

I may be biased considering how much time I spent in this building, but this one deserves to be near the top of the list. It is one of the newest buildings on campus and has a beautiful open atrium on the first floor where you can meet for group projects or socialize. The classrooms were much higher-tech and comfortable than most other classroom buildings. Oh, and an Espresso Royale? Check.

3. Memorial Stadium

Can we really count Memorial Stadium as a building? I’ll let you know for sure after I get my real estate degree. For now, just roll with it.

Other than housing fall festivities centered around football, Memorial Stadium is also the place I began my college career during Welcome Week and where I graduated. The football memories were not always that great, but I will never forget that crowd for the North Carolina night game back in 2015. I don’t think I’ve ever had that much excitement built up for an Illini football game.

2. Huff Hall

This one is definitely a building. Is it outdated? Sure. In fact, when my dad was a student Huff is where the basketball team played. Compared with other schools, though, Huff is a difficult place to play for opponents. It gets LOUD. Have you ever been to Stuff Huff? If you haven’t, go this coming season. Just make sure you bring earplugs.

Aside from housing arguably the university’s best athletic program in women’s volleyball, Huff has a nice lecture hall and a new wing that was donated by the man himself, Shad Khan.

1. State Farm Center

There’s really nothing like Illinois Basketball, in my opinion. I always get a certain kind of feeling that I can’t really explain when I walk into the main area of the arena from the concourse. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but there is something special about that flying saucer-shaped building on the southern end of campus. Not to mention the recent improvements make the Orange Krush actually look like a real student section.

What buildings did I not mention that you love or hate? Tell us below in the comments!