Bygone DePaul is a series highlighting DePaul’s campus and how it has changed through the years.
Every fall, students descend onto DePaul’s Lincoln Park campus in droves. The new students rush around, trying to learn where everything is and get to class on time, and the returning students rush around trying to meet up with friends who they haven’t seen all summer. Few pay attention to the remarkable buildings of the campus, and even fewer take the time to imagine the campus as it was 20, 40, or even 60 years ago. This post is the first in a series called Bygone DePaul that will allow you to slowly stroll the Lincoln Park campus and picture what used to be. First up: The Lyceum!
The Lyceum was a two-floor building located at 2235 N. Sheffield, where the Ray Meyer Fitness Center now stands. The building was opened in 1907. Many of its rooms were distinctively furnished by the Mandel Brothers, a large department store located in the Loop. These rooms were used by DePaul’s clubs and by outside organizations for meetings and parties. The building also held the College Grill, a fancy eating establishment meant to serve patrons of the College Theater which stood next door.
Over time, the Lyceum served many academic uses as well. It held DePaul University classes almost as soon as it was opened. From 1910 to 1911, the DePaul High School for Girls was located there. In 1912, the DePaul School of Music moved in and remained until 1930. And in 1930, the Liberal Arts library was moved to the second floor, and the President’s Offices moved to the first. At this time, the Lyceum also began to be known as the Library and Administration building.
The Lyceum was razed in 1987, but if you stop by Special Collections and Archives on the third floor of the Richardson Library, you can relive DePaul’s history by touching a piece of decorative plaster from the Lyceum itself.