Stadium Terrace, Champaign, Illinois
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Stadium Terrace, 1946: Temporary housing to accommodate post-war rush of students at the University of Illinois The rush of veterans returning to the university caused an overwhelming shortage of student housing, and in the fall semester of 1945 it was necessary to limit enrollment for the first time in the university's history. This was done by curtailing entrance permits to out-of-state women. By January of 1946, there were fourteen hundred veterans on campus and the male student population had increased by 50 percent over the previous year. Students' emergency housing needs were met by bunk beds set up in crowded make-shift dormitories wherever multiple shower and toilet facilities were available. The Ice Rink, directly north of the Armory, became one such dormitory, while three hundred more men were housed in the west hall of the stadium. Another three hundred were tightly quartered in the Men's Old Gym Annex at Springfield Avenue and Romine Street. Temporary frame dormitories and small family dwellings were set up on land that had been used as a military student parade ground. The temporary dormitory structures provided housing for 1,312 men and, eventually, several hundred families. The city of Champaign granted permission to erect these temporary Remountable houses with the provision that when no longer required by the university, they would not be relocated elsewhere within the city limits. The Frank A. Somers Co. of Champaign was awarded the initial contract to move approximately 275 of these government surplus houses (which measured only twelve by twenty-five and one half feet) from Charleston, Indiana, to an area bounded by South First Street, Gregory Drive, and South Oak Street. After the houses arrived, the Kuhne-Simmons Company of Rantoul nailed them onto foundation posts which had been set into the ground. Heated by small coal stoves and poorly winterized, the houses rented for thirty dollars a month for a one bedroom unit or thirty-five dollars for two bedrooms. These "shacks" became highly sought-after homes, and during the winter of 1946 over nine hundred applications for the 270 units available were received by the university housing officials. Dubbed "Stadium Terrace," the housing sounded far more like an exclusive subdivision than the drab and depressing area it truly was to many young post-war brides of veterans arriving in Champaign. Additional houses were erected in Urbana at an equally prestigious-sounding "Illini Village" just east of Mt. Hope cemetery between Pennsylvania and Florida Avenues. Urban Treasure Hunt 16 History; 18 Social Systems
|University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign|
|University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University Library|
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