Architect: Henry Ives Cobb
Address: 5811 S. Ellis Ave.
Named after benefactor Silas Cobb, Cobb Lecture Hall was the first University of Chicago building completed when the University first held classes on October 1, 1892. Designed by Henry Ives Cobb (no relation to Silas), the building was modeled after the Gothic style featured prominently on the Oxford University campus in England, and it was the most expensive of the original sixteen buildings. It included a “general recitation” hall and a chapel in addition to classrooms and offices.
Cobb Lecture Hall faces inward toward the main quadrangle, leaving its street-side façade sparse. Its interior design is largely utilitarian, reflecting Cobb’s Chicago School influences, though inflections of Gothic revival are still apparent.
After the School of Social Service Administration was finished south of the Midway and its related offices moved, Cobb Lecture Hall became entirely dedicated to the humanities and social sciences. The Center for the Study of Languages and the Renaissance Society contemporary art museum are also located in Cobb.