Corn fields inspire underground library

The Morrow Plots are corn fields located on the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign campus.  During my freshman orientation campus tour in 1995 our group was told these cornfields are the oldest in the U.S. (first grown in 1876) and have been preserved as such an important part of the University's history that the undergraduate library was built three stories underground as to not cast a shadow on the cornfields, risking inadequate sunlight conditions.

Wikipedia says that the University master plan at the time (1966) required a large open plaza at that end of the campus, thus also demanding the library be built underground. 

Whatever the true reason for building an underground library, the innovation seed was planted and architects had to find their inspiration. 

I finally made it back to UIUC in September and here are a few photos of the library and Morrow Plots:





You can find more photos and information from the UI Histories Project: Click here

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