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The Alphawood Arboretum at Illinois Institute of Technology

Schaudt Lawn

The Alphawood Arboretum at Illinois Institute of Technology


Illinois Institute of Technology’s campus identity owes much to the collaboration of architect, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and landscape architect, Alfred Caldwell. Caldwell’s landscape design of gnarly, irregularly planted honey locusts and hawthorns artfully contrasts Mies’s buildings of cubic linearity. The trees influenced a generation of architects, and the honey locust especially became part of the American modern vocabulary. Later work by Peter Schaudt and Chandra Goldsmith Gray strengthened the open and irregular qualities established by Caldwell. Today, the university is home to nearly 1,800 trees representing almost 70 species —including a strong collection of native trees species with pinnate and bipinnate leaves that exhibit yellow fall foliage: Gleditsia sp., Juglans sp., Fraxinus sp., Gymnocladus sp., Robinia sp, Cladrastis sp., and others.

This collection is historically and culturally significant, including being specifically mentioned in the university’s National Register of Historic Places registration. Highlighting the interdependence of landscape and architecture is even more relevant today. The creation of The Alphawood Arboretum enhances the campus’s dendrological resources and protects an important cultural landscape while providing opportunities to extend the university’s educational and community outreach missions.



Accredited Arboretum Level I imagearboretum
10 West 35th Street, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, Illinois 60616, United States,
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