Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project



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Institution Name: Olivet Nazarene University
Original/Historic Place Name: St. Viator College (1868-1938)
Location on Campus: Main Campus (200+acres), Main St. (US 45-54) and University Ave.
Date(s) of Construction:
1940-present (2006)campus construction and subsequent develoment
Type of Place: Building group
Style: Modern/post-WWII (Glossary)
Significance: landscape
Narrative: see below
References: see below
1940-present (2006)master plan (campus)

The campus has distinctive natural topography and is mostly flat terrain on solid limestone bedrock. In the last 40 years, many shrubs and trees have been carefully selected and planted to enhance the landscape and accent each building. Between 12 and 20 trees and shrubs are planted each year. Athletic Fields have undergone major redevelopment since 1981.

The campus is under continuous development and expansion. Olivet's campus in 1940 had five major buildings on 40 acres and is now approaching 200 acres of land with 32 major buildings. A growing student body has required new buildings and facilities of all kinds. Parking areas for resident students, faculty and staff, and guests who come for special events have been decorated with attractive trees, shrubs, and flowers. Attention to adequate green space provides an open feeling in the midst of many buildings.

Buildings are functionally designed and economically conservative. From 1951-1975, eleven new buildings were completed in a time of rapid growth in the student population. Since 1980, five major buildings have been completed, along with a parallel emphasis on campus beautification and the development of athletic fields for football, baseball, softball, tennis, soccer, and track and field.

Expansion of the campus since 1950 has included clearing old residential and business buildings along Main St. at the west edge of the campus to open up the view of campus buildings to the public. In recent years, the Chicago Bears of the National Football League have chosen this campus over a dozen other Illinois colleges and universities for their three-week summer training camps, a contract that likely will be extended for a number of years.


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Last update: November 2006