Top of the morning: Oct. 27, 2014

Top of the morning: Oct. 27, 2014

Matthew Ando has been a University of Illinois mathematics professor since 1999, and chair of the department for three years.

We asked him for some things that make Altgeld Hall a special place:

— The library has this steel frame with glass floors so that the light can pass through the floor and illuminate the different levels of the library. This I thought was unique in the world when I first saw it. It turns out, in the 19th century, it was not an uncommon way to build a library, and most of them have been taken out. But ours is still there because it turns out in our library, the vertical steel (supports) are structural. They're holding up the floor of the lecture hall above. And so I think we now have one of the few ones of these left. It's a magnificent thing, and you don't see it unless someone takes you into the stacks. It's not something you see from the outside.

— Because at one time it housed the administration of the university, including the business office, there are several offices which have very large walk-in safes.

— At one time, the board of trustees met here, and the president's office was here. As walls have been moved around and so forth, it's very difficult to see that this happened. There is at least one closet upstairs where, when you open the closet, there's a fireplace.

— What I love about the chimes (above) is how friendly and open Sue Wood is to showing people around and even letting people play the chimes. Quite a room up there. You really feel like you're stepping into a different era.

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