Peoria Landmark #398
Well… no-one really got it, but it’s the expansion construction of Bradley’s Westlake Hall as seen through a mesh covered fence.
Peoria Journal Star, Oct 21, 2009:
As if the Bradley University campus was not chock full of construction already, work on the university’s second-oldest building is set to begin.
Preliminary work on Westlake Hall that will touch off a $22 million renovation and expansion project is nearing. When completed, Westlake will be six times its current size and home to the university’s college of education, the new STEM center – Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics – and the Institute for Principled Leadership in Public Service.
“Westlake will end up transforming into one of the premier buildings on campus,” said Joan Sattler, dean of Bradley’s College of Education and Health Sciences.
Included in the project is a four-floor addition, a 100-seat auditorium and smart classrooms with new technology and laboratories for science, math, reading, language arts and counseling. A ground-breaking ceremony is planned to take place at 4 p.m. Thursday.
More than a third of the cost, some $8.9 million, to rebuild and add on to Westlake is being paid for by the $31 billion state capital bill that passed this spring, $300 million of which went to private universities.
State Sen. Dave Koehler, D-Peoria, said he lobbied to get the Bradley project funded in part because the building is used to train teachers.
Sattler said Westlake over the years has been “chopped up” into mostly offices, scattering a number of the education, teaching and health science programs across campus. “This project will pull us back together.”
As it stands, Westlake is 112 years old. It was last renovated in 1961.
Henry Ives Cobb, architect for the University of Chicago, designed the original building, once named Horology Hall, familiar for its characteristic clock tower. From contract for construction to completion took six months.
According to the university, Horology Hall was the only one of its kind in the U.S. to be erected solely for use as a horological school. Horology, the art of making timepieces, was a department in what then was Bradley Polytechnic Institute.
The building was renamed in 1946 to honor Allen T. Westlake, who served as dean of horology.
More aerial photos are available for viewing on Bradley University’s Flickr page.