Saturday, March 02, 2013

Friday Reading And The Flying Saucer

1 Maccabees 9.
2 Samuel 1:17-27.

Saturday March 2, 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of the opening of the University of Illinois Assembly Hall.

To say that this structure is a unique architectural feat is an understatement.  I still don't quite understand how it stays up.  Whenever I'm near the south side of Champaign, it's always worth the drive to check it out.

The first time I remember seeing it was when I was 8 years old, before an Illinois-Iowa football game on November 20, 1971.  I was awestruck driving up to it, a cool site to see.  We had come to Champaign to see the game with a neighbor and went inside briefly.  I must say it looked cooler outside than inside, but it still was pretty cool inside, looking up at the dome from below.

The next time I was there was for the Ringling Brothers Circus in 1974.  It wasn't just a basketball arena.  I went to a Journey Concert there in October 1981, at the height of their popularity.

I haven't been inside it for years.  I'm sure it's changed through the years inside.  Supposedly it is going to be renovated.  Which is good to hear.  It would have been a shame if the University had wasted money on building a new arena.  This one is an iconic landmark, a symbol of the university.  In addition to a practical and versatile building.

Anyway, I'm linking to an article about the groundbreaking, the Wikipedia page, the Assembly Hall renovation project, the 50th anniversary game Saturday, and the most memorable games at The Assembly Hall.

Happy Anniversary.

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