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Lincoln Hall at the University of Illinois, named to commemorate the centennial of Abraham Lincoln's birth, has long been a familiar landmark on the Urbana-Champaign campus and the home for undergraduate and graduate work in the liberal arts and communication. Funded by the Illinois State Legislature in 1909, the building was dedicated in 1913 on Lincoln's birthday, February 12. In addition to its function as space for offices, classrooms, and departmental libraries, Lincoln Hall was commissioned, designed, and built to convey "the wisdom and patriotism of the democracy of learning." That spirit of freedom and equality in education was manifest in Lincoln Hall's artistic design, which features terra cotta panels depicting Lincoln's life, quotations from his writings, and portraits of prominent figures of his day. At the outset of the building's conception, Evarts B. Greene, professor of history and dean of the College of Literature and Arts, provided detailed information about Lincoln that defined the building's artistic program. Wishing to retain the dignified simplicity of the overall design, he conferred with W. Carbys Zimmerman, the State Architect, about the nature and placement of the panels and other ornamental details that have become key features of the building's design. Commemorating the bicentennial of Lincoln's birth, this magisterial volume chronicles the history of Lincoln Hall from its conception to its expansion and its present role on the campus. John Hoffmann identifies each of the building's historical panels and the portraits of Lincoln's contemporaries. Lavishly illustrated to show how much care was taken with the details of the design, this book provides a lasting historical record of the building's century-long place at the University of Illinois. Supported by the Office of the Chancellor of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Raised in Springfield, Illinois, John Hoffmann is the curator of the Illinois history and Lincoln collections of the University of Illinois Library at Urbana-Champaign. He has written widely on Abraham Lincoln, the Civil War, and Illinois history.