Loyola University Chicago

University Archives & Special Collections

Water Tower Campus


The beginnings of the Water Tower Campus came in 1908 when the first professional school, the School of Law, was established. Being a professional school, the faculty was comprised mainly of practicing attorneys and classes needed to be located close to their offices. The first location of the Downtown College was on Ashaland Block, where it remained until the establishment of the School of Sociology (1914, later renamed the School of Social Work), University College (1914), College of Commerce (1922), and the Graduate School (1925) brought more students. In February of 1927 the professional schools moved to 20-28 North Franklin Street. 

Aerial of water tower campus circa 1964

After almost 20 years at the Franklin Street location, the professional schools moved once again to the former Illinois Women's Athletic Club (built in 1926) at the corner of Pearson Street and East Tower Court. Known originally as Tower Court Building, it was renamed Lewis Towers after Frank J. Lewis, the philanthropist who presented the building to Loyola. The professional schools moved to the building in 1946, thus forming the nucleus of the Water Tower Campus.

Aerial photograph showing Water Tower Campus from the west towards Lake Michigan

More information on Loyola's Water Tower Campus can be found in Loyola University Chicago by Kathryn A. Young and Ashley Howdeshell (The Campus History Series, Arcadia Publishing, 2020). Available at https://www.arcadiapublishing.com/Products/9781467105590 .