Illinois Institute of Technology
illinois institute of technology is a private, national, technological, ph.d.-granting research university, with programs in engineering, architecture, the sciences, humanities, psychology, business, law, and design. though technically founded in 1940 following a series of local collegiate mergers, it has roots dating to the 1890's, when meat-packing baron and philanthropist phillip danforth armour donated one million dollars to create a school that would offer technology-focused educations to students of all backgrounds in a new age of industrial progress. today, the institute offers a technology-focused curriculum designed to advance knowledge through research and scholarship. it has an undergraduate population of about 2,300 and a total student body of just over 7,400.
the institute has five campuses in the chicagoland area, two in the distant suburbs and three in the city. the main campus straddles state street between 31st and 35th streets in chicago's historic bronzeville neighborhood and was designed by internationally-acclaimed architect (and one-time head of the institute's architecture school) ludwig mies van der rohe. as for bronzeville, it'd be tough to find a chicago neighborhood more steeped in history. the “black metropolis” of the early 20th century was the destination for thousands of african-americans during the “great migration.” louis armstrong, sam cooke, muddy waters, nat "king" cole, and red foxx all lived nearby. today, the neighborhood effectively mixes the old and the new, making it a prime destination for renters looking for affordable living close to the lakefront.
bronzeville has a balanced mix of students, longtime residents, and newcomers. there’s a standard assortment of chain restaurants, but the chicken and café choices exclusive to the area make dining out a welcome adventure. plus, what the bars and clubs lack in quantity they make up for in quality. just across the expressway, the chicago white sox play 81 home games a year (some hope for more) at u.s. cellular field. unlike their crosstown rivals, the white sox have actually won a world series championship in the last century.
amongst the traditional brownstones, apartment buildings, and historic houses, numerous statues and monuments—like the bronzeville walk of fame—remind residents of what came before. students who don't live in bronzeville nonetheless enjoy an easy commute. the green line of the el stops right at the campus, and the red line stops nearby. what's more, there are bus routes on king drive, michigan avenue, indiana avenue, and state street.