Sprucing Up Annie May Swift

Campus landmark gets a face-lift.

One of the oldest academic buildings on the Evanston campus reopened its doors last fall after a modern makeover that retains its historic features.

For more than a century, Annie May Swift Hall, a building with Venetian Gothic revival and Romanesque architecture, round-arched entrances, a red tile roof and Lemont limestone foundation, has been home to the School of Communication.

Built in 1895, Annie May Swift Hall stood on the shore of Lake Michigan before the lakeside campus was developed in the 1960s. Today, the 27,000-square-foot structure, which includes three stories, a garden level and an attic, is in the heart of south campus, steps away from University Library.

The building was dedicated in May 1895 to the memory of trustee Gustavus F. Swift's daughter, Annie May Swift (WCAS1888), a former Northwestern student who died at age 22 in 1889.

The building has undergone several improvements, beginning in the 1920s. This most recent renovation of the Evanston historic landmark was a yearlong project to modernize the building, including renovation and restoration of faculty and staff offices, classrooms and an auditorium; construction of an elevator; and installation of a new flexible teaching space for performance studies. School of Communication faculty moved back to the building last fall.