Skip to main content
Northwestern University

Lunt Hall: A Second Look at Northwestern's First Library

old image of Lunt Hall

by Rebecca Lindell

Home to Northwestern mathematicians driven by the same curiosity that inspired Euclid and Archimedes, Lunt Hall retains the classical presence and proportions that drew admiring tributes upon its dedication in 1894. The opening of Lunt signaled a milestone for Northwestern, whose growing size and stature in the late 19th century warranted the construction of its first standalone library.

And what a library it was, for its time. A capacious, light-filled reading room housed more than 100,000 books. A gracious second-floor auditorium seated the entire student population of 500. And the top floor was home to the University Guild, keeper of Northwestern’s most treasured cultural artifacts.

As Northwestern evolved throughout the 20th century, so did Lunt, which would assume a series of identities after being supplanted by Deering Library in 1933: as an administration building in the 1930s, a barracks for naval radio trainees during World War II, and a base for the Naval ROTC in the 1960s.

Lunt’s interior has long since been remade, but its graceful profile and geometric details remain, rendering it an apt domain for today’s Department of Mathematics.

Want to make a difference? Support Weinberg College with a gift today.

Back to top