The Illini Union (in Winter)

Illini Union (Photo by UI Public Affairs/L. Brian Stauffer)

The Illini Union looms like a mirage through a veil of snow. Designed in the shape of an “I” to honor the University of Illinois, the building was constructed as a Work Projects Administration development of President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal program; First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt even arrived to cut the cake celebrating the Union’s first birthday in February 1942. In the ensuing 25 years, the building nearly doubled in size, with a major expansion occurring in 1963.