May 6, 2016

The Armory Building at the University of Illinois


Ground was broken for the Armory Building—which was conceived as a location for housing cadet military training—on September 18, 1912. The building, designed by Illinois state architect William Carbys Zimmerman, was officially dedicated on Nov. 1, 1914, reportedly with 15,000 people in attendance. When construction was finished, the building was considered the largest structure in the world without a center support. The 98-foot-high ceiling suspended over 80,000 square feet of floor space—including the track in the center of the building—is supported by three-hinged arches weighing 36 tons each


Armory Building - Historic Photo

The roof of the Armory Building was considered an architectural marvel when the building was completed in 1914.


In 1927, a multi-story addition was built around the building adding classroom and office space. The addition, designed by Charles A. Platt, gave the Armory the look it has today, which matches the Georgian Revival style found in nearby buildings such as the Main Library, Huff Hall, and other campus buildings of the time.

Today, the Armory Building has many functions. It houses the offices of several University of Illinois departments and units, including the ACDIS program and three military science/Reserve Officer Training Corps programs (Army ROTC, Air Force ROTC, Marine Corps and Navy ROTC). Numerous academic courses are held each semester in the Armory’s classrooms. And the track is used by the Illinois track team for training and intercollegiate competitions; by the ROTC cadets and Police Training Institute for drills; and by University faculty, staff, and students for their daily exercise


Armory Building

The Armory Building remains a landmark structure on the campus of the University of Illinois.


Related links


The ACDIS office does not manage the Armory Building or the facilities within its walls.

For more information about the Armory track facilities, see the University of Illinois Division of Intercollegiate Athletics web site. This site also allows you to input information to get driving directions to the Armory Building.

For information about the Armory track hours of operation, fees for usage, group event reservations, and more, please visit the Armory Track and Floor web site or call 217-333-8333.

To view a map of the Armory Building in relation to other buildings on campus, click here.