Known as the “Cheese Grater Building,” McGaw was originally built for the McCormick Theological Seminary in 1963 by Holabird & Root, an architecture firm known for designing educational and institutional structures. DePaul acquired the building in 1977 and used it for classrooms and music practice rooms. For well over a decade DePaul has transformed itself from a sleepy commuter school into a residential college, the largest Catholic university in the country. In order to create a bigger and more cohesive campus, DePaul has gotten rid of its past little by little. DePaul has torn down a number of older buildings, like the brutalist Stuart Center, and constructed many new structures, like the loft-style apartments at 1237 West. It’s unfortunate that McGaw is another victim of this expansion. Maybe the building was not to everyone’s liking, but in a world of increasingly bland architecture, at least McGaw was unique and stood out.
Last month DePaul University demolished McGaw Hall on their Lincoln Park campus for a new brick and glass building from Antunovich Associates that will house the university’s music school.