NIU adds gate

By Rob Heselbarth

Of all the construction on campus, there is only one place workers are trying to make NIU’s campus look like it did nearly 100 years ago.

Workers are building a new gate at the entrance to NIU’s campus in preparation for its centennial celebration in 1995.

When the university was originally constructed, an iron gate existed at the intersection of Castle Drive and Lincoln Highway.

Patricia Perkins, assistant to the vice president of Finance and Planning, said the original gates and pillars fell victim to the elements and were torn down decades ago.

“The new gates will be reminiscent of the original gates,” Perkins said. “However, the new gates will not open and close. They will be permanently open.”

Lighting fixtures will be placed on top of the columns. Perkins said the lights will be similar to the new lights being erected around the east lagoon. The new gates were designed by the architectural firm of Joseph-Murphy in Geneva, Ill.

“There will be landscaping in front of the two walls, which will include flowers and bushes,” she said. “We hope to have the landscape finished by winter.

“‘Northern Illinois University’ will be carved into the two limestone walls,” she added.

The project is a Capital Development Board project so the funds will be coming from the state.

Perkins said the walls, columns and gates should be completed this semester, but the landscaping might have to wait until next spring to be finished.

She also said plans are already underway to celebrate NIU centennial. A special committee has been created for the specific purpose of organizing the 1995 celebration.

“The celebration will be very big and many different events are being planned,” Perkins said.