Amber’s Amazing Photo Tour 2017

To start today I need to thank Levi, Alex and Krissy for their amazing suggestions! This year’s photo tour is very different from last year’s blog in the best possible way, and it is all because I had some amazing guidance.

Be warned….I took a lot of pictures.

First stop, Loomis Lab.  I have walked by it many times, but never actually gone in.  One of the first things you would notice if you were going into Loomis isn’t actually the building, it is what is across from the building:

A giant construction project! This is a part of the reconstruction of Green Street, making the whole area more pedestrian friendly.  Good news is it should be done by the time our Fall 2018 students arrive. Now, back to my main purpose.

Loomis was probably my favorite stop of the trip.  While the building is not new, there is a lot going on there, and, as it happens, Francis Wheeler Loomis, was a pretty cool guy! Until this blog, I never knew!

One of the first things I noticed was how much natural light there was to study by, and how many students were taking advantage of it!

Loomis was also a great place to see the many things we have happening on campus. For example, did you know there are rooms on campus adapted to be designated Assistive Listening rooms? So cool. I also got to see signs for a lot of different things happening across campus.  For example:

I will be honest.  I initially looked at this because of the cookie, but I also think it is pretty great that Engineering Career Services doesn’t just have an office on campus; they also go out into the places students spend their time.  And yeah, they also give people cookies.

Next comes my exciting realization…..Loomis and MRL (the Frederick Seitz Material Science Research Lab) are connected!

Observe, I am in MRL in the picture above, but you can still see Loomis.  Apparently the Engineering Sciences Building (home to the Institute for Condensed Matter Theory) is also connected.  I think this means Physics students are some of the warmest students on campus during the winter months. 😉

As I headed towards the door I looked through the doors at a few labs, offices, and classrooms.  Most of them were pretty busy, but on a campus with a 68% undergraduate research rate, that isn’t shocking.

From here I decided to head to the English Building for Alex, but on the way I was distracted.

Distracted by our newly renovated Natural History Building! This building was just finished this year, so I wanted to walk through and see how it came out.  Personally, I liked it a lot.  The building was actually built in 1892, and you can see some of that history while you are walking through, but is is also thoroughly modern at the same time.

This is what one of the classrooms looks like.  Desks on wheels, lots of screens, plenty of outlets, bright light.  Looks like a great place to study to me! Double bonus for the students taking classes here, they have TONS of parking for your bike right outside.

Now, to the English Building!

By now, you are probably noticing what I noticed; there is A LOT of construction going on around campus.  What can I say? I kind of like that we are always working to bring better and better things to campus for students.

Not that the English building needs tons of help, it is already pretty nice.  This is one of the common areas. As I walked around I saw a ton of classrooms and I made a quick stop in the office of the Program in Jewish Culture & Society.  A pretty neat program where THIS is actually one of their classrooms:

Yeah, there are only about nine chairs in there.  How amazing would it be to be able to take a class learning Yiddish with six other students and a professor?  Illinois may be a big campus, but there are tons of opportunities for small programs like this.

From the English Building, I made a quick stop at Lincoln for a little pre-blog luck, and headed to the Undergraduate Library.

Looking very regal….

I felt smarter just walking into this building.  I would have lingered, but I was on a mission…a mission to see the Main Stacks for Alex!

You do need to have an I-Card to get in here, but it is pretty cool in that kind of creepy but not creepy way. Does that make sense to anyone else?  Tons of books, a little darker in areas, but some of the books are really neat.  I found an Illinois yearbook from 1904 while I was there.  Where else would you find that? Only here, my friend.

Leaving the library I was greeted by my next stop, the Observatory.

And, equally exciting, what appeared to be mini observatories behind the building.

Turns out the triplets are actually Sky Shed PODs.  Basically a way that all the technical equipment you need to do some serious observation can stay set up and ready to go.  So I was kind of right, they are mini observatories!

I was able to go in, but someone was in the top area working on something, so I took a quick picture of the inside (that looks pretty good for being 121 years old) and went to my final destination.

Our final destination?  A little something for Krissy, the Campus Recreation Center East or CRCE!

At over 100,000 square feet, it feels strange to call this small, but it is the smaller of the two main recreation facilities on campus.  It is also my favorite, simply because of this:

No, your eyes are not mistaken.  That is a water slide.  I was kind of glad to be forced to go in though, because I never knew how much CRCE had.  I saw racquetball courts, the Multi-Activities Court (indoor soccer, badminton, inline hockey, group fitness classes, etc.), and some super sweet workout equipment with a built-in TV!

I decided to pass on the workout and head back to the office.  On the way I wanted to stop and get a picture of one of our auditoriums to add, so I stopped in the School of Music.  I knew they had one.  I listened in, sounded quiet, good for a picture…..but it was quiet because there were only 20 people in the lecture.  Oops! Lesson here is even if the class is scheduled in an auditorium, it might still be pretty small.

And that was it.  The end of my personalized photo tour of campus for 2017.  Thanks again to those of you who submitted requests!  I hope this gives everyone a little peak into the many amazing things we have here at Illinois.




Admissions Counselor
I've lived in South Korea, Turkey, Mexico, and Ohio. I focus on working with international undergraduate students and helping them through the admissions process.


  • Thank you for the pictures. I’ll actually be on campus Friday for a tour and I have a meeting with Physics in Loomis. Nice to get to see it ahead of time.

  • Very exciting to be able to get a virtual tour and places inside the campus. Thank you for sharing all the pictures as it helps students get a sneak peak.