All entrances described are A.D.A. accessible entrances

Illini Union

1401 W. Green Street

Urbana, IL 61801

The Union is a large multi-use service building on the north end axis of the Quadrangle. It is bounded to the north by Green Street, Altgeld Hall to the west and Harker Hall to the east.

The Union is rectangular in plan, however with protrusions and 4 main entrances it does not read solidly as a rectangle on the exterior. The entrances are all different, and will be described in the following paragraphs. Entrances on the South, East and West are ramped, and the North entrance is provided with a lift. If you are arriving by the Rehabilitation bus, you may be dropped off in the circle drive on the north side of the Union. If you are on approach from an MTD or Campus bus, you may be approaching from any north, west or east sides. From the Quad you will likely use the south entrance. Automatic doors are available on every side of the Union. The links are available below to better navigate this textual page:

Description of entrances

Building arrangement and organization

Description of first floor

Description of elevators

Description of second floor

Description of third floor

Description of fourth floor

Description of basement


Descriptions of entrances

On approach from the west side, from the bus stop directly west of Altgeld Hall, follow the sidewalk that leads along the south wall of Altgeld hall. There is a second sidewalk just south of this one, also in the same direction. A landscaped garden and a line of shrubbery separate the two sidewalks. You might find the second sidewalk by accident. This is OK. Continue east along either walk. You will proceed 200 feet west and T-intersect with a main, curving wide sidewalk that wraps casually around the west side of the Union. From either sidewalk you were taking you need to turn north (left) and head in a northeast direction, crossing the wide sidewalk and trying to follow the east edge of the sidewalk to guide you in better alignment to the stairs. There is a set of 3 stairs going up to a wide landing before entry to the west side of the building. Now if you are unable to use stairs there is a ramp provided just 30 feet north of the start of these stairs. Separating the stairs from the ramp is a sculptural water fountain and benches to the east, and 2 low planters of flowers to the left. This narrow path leads directly north from the stairs to the start of the ramp. You will need to turn east and proceed 5 feet until the handrails will acknowledge the start of the ramp. At the top of the landing is a series of double doors. Directly ahead is the push-plate automated door. The plate is mounted on the left side of the door. All along this side of the building are entry doors- any one may be opened to enter the West hallway.

This paragraph is describing the path to entry if you must use the automatic doors on the south façade or are entering off the Quadrangle. From the west, either from Wright Street or perhaps the Henry Administration Building, you will continue your path along the sidewalk heading west. This T-intersects with the wide sidewalk curving around the west side of the building. You will turn southeast and continue along this wide sidewalk, straightening out and heading due east. Between the wide sidewalk (which flanks the north end of the Quadrangle) and the Union is a mixture or concrete seating areas, the wide sets of stairs up to the south entrances, some trees in planters, and most of this is surrounded by brick paving. The south entrance is very busy, so, for lack of a better explanation, it may be easiest to find the entrance by listening and following all the other students up to the entrance. The doors on the west side of the south entrance are busiest, however the doors closer to the east end are the push-plate automated doors. To locate the ramp up to the entrance level, you will need to continue east along the wide, Quad sidewalk until you pass the benches and trees. There are handrails to assist you in detecting the start of the ramp. This ramp is a straight run north, and lands directly before the automated door. Turn north and directly ahead is the ramp going up to the south façade of the building. At the top of the ramp is a platform. The push-plates for the door are mounted on the building, just to the left of the door. You have entered a vestibule area. Another plate-activated door is directly ahead. The plate is mounted to a bollard and railing on the left side of the door. You are now at the junction of the main East and main South hallways.

This paragraph describes entry from the north side of the building, typically where a Rehabilitation bus will provide drop-offs. The north façade of the building is the old, formal entrance to the Union. Not surprisingly, it is the most difficult entrance to use for those in wheelchairs. The basic plan is such: three narrow, heavy, double doors form a first entrance. There are 4 steps up to a second line of narrow, equally heavy double doors. After the second pair is the lobby and formal waiting room to the building, There is a circle drive off Green Street. The Rehabilitation bus should drop you off in alignment with the middle pair of doors, which, conveniently so, is the automatic door. Push-plates are mounted to the wall on the right side of the door. Caution: the doors open very slowly. Once inside, the lift is immediately on your left. It rises the equivalent of 4 steps and you will exit facing south. The second pair of automated doors are just ahead and a little to the right. A push-plate is mounted on the left side of the door. You are now in the center of a lobby area. There is furniture on either side of you. To the east (left) is a welcome and information center about the campus and building. To the right (west) is hotel check-in information. Directly ahead is the main North hallway.

Hotel guests or regular employees going to and from the parking lot primarily use the east entrance. There is a ramp switchback and you will enter in the middle of the East hallway. This entrance is generally not used by students, and is tricky to locate off the Quad or Green Streets. It is recommended to use one of the other accessible entrances.

Building arrangement and organization

This is a description of the first floor, noting that tactile signage is not provided in this building: The Union is arranged on the inside like a really big rectangle comprised of 4 main hallways all intersecting at their corners. For ease of reference, the hallways will be named according to their general locations in the building plan. For instance, the main hallway on the north side of the building that runs east-west will be named the North hallway. The hallway running north-south flanking the west side of the Union will be named the West hallway, and so on. The middle of the rectangle is filled with the ballrooms and the courtyard café with studying areas.

There are three sections of the building. The basement and first floor encompass the entire floor plan. Then there is a north section that is just the north hallway. The second through fourth floors have this north section. The south section is just the South hallway and is also in the second through fourth floors. There is no link between the north and south sections except on the basement or first floor levels.

Description of first floor:

From the middle at the north entrance going counter-clockwise are the following services: the lobby, hotel check-in, elevators to the left, McKinley Health Resource Center on the right, major staircase on the left, Ticket Booth on the right and finally the junction with the West Hallway.

Continuing south, the President’s lounge, Pine Room and Browsing Room are at this corner, then on the left an entrance to the Courtyard Café (with study areas, performance stage and an Espresso Royale). Continuing south on the left are first the men’s accessible restroom, 2 doors down is the women’s accessible restroom (there is no tactile signage to designate), on the right is the wall of entrance doors, a recessed lobby area with the Ballrooms to the left, a queuing line for National City bank, Quad shop on the right, pay phones, Delight’s ice cream shop at the corner on the left, and right around the corner on the right are 2 more elevators.

From west to east in the South Hallway are: the Art Gallery, Computing center, cash machine, change machine, entrance doors, the South Lounge is carpeted, and beyond is the automated entry door, single elevator and another cash machine.

At the intersection of the South and East hallways, turn north. There are building offices on the left, the East entrance doors on the right, a Vending room on the right and another entrance to the Courtyard Café on the left, in an alcove on the left is a staircase and a bank of phones (one of which is a TDD phone).

Turning west, at the east end is the Colonial dining room, lounge seating along the hallway and the lobby again with the University and building information desk on your right.


There are 3 elevator locations in the Illini Union. One block of 2 elevators is at the northwest corner. It is 30 feet west of the north entrance and lobby, and 20 feet before the intersection of the North and West hallways. These 2 elevators face north and service all floors, the basement through fourth floor. This elevator should be used for those persons going to a meeting or office in the North tower section. In the southwest corner, nearest the Computing center and Delight’s ice cream shop are 2 elevators. They are located in the South hallway, on the north wall, and service the basement, registered organizations on the second floor and guest suites on the third and fourth floors in this south tower section. The last elevator is in the southeast corner, directly across and slightly west from the accessible south building entrance. This elevator services the basement and guest suites on the third and fourth floors.

Second Floor Description

The second floor North section services: in order from west to east: Alumni Association, stairs, elevator, telephone, ballroom, meeting rooms.

The second floor south section contains student services and registered organizations. Leave the elevator facing south. Turn right for rooms 284 through 298. There is an information desk through the doors and on the left. The offices in this section include SORF, Illini Union Board, Illini Student Government, Program Department and the Volunteer Programs Office. From the elevator turn left to locate on your left the men’s accessible restroom, then 2 doors down the women’s accessible restroom. Continue down the hall and through the door for rooms 255 through 280. This central area contains student organizations and registered organizations. Please note the elevator in the southeast corner of the building plan does not service this floor.

Third Floor Description

The third floor North section services, in order from West to east: meeting room 319, lesbian gay bisexual and transgender concerns center in room 322, Ombuds office in 323, student legal services in 324, Student Tenant’s Union in 326, vending office in 333, phone, men’s restroom, stairs, elevator, meeting rooms 307 through 317, and the women’s restroom.

The south section services guest suites.

Fourth Floor Description

The fourth floor north section services: Administration office in 420H, Communications office in 420F, staff development and human resources office in 420H, restrooms, elevator and stairs, drinking fountain, meeting rooms 402 through 409.

South Section services guest suites.

Basement or Lower Level Description

The basement covers both north and south sections. In order from the elevator at the southwest corner: exit the elevator facing south. Turn left and left again to be in the main hallway proceeding north. Through the hallway are e-mail stations, vending machines, the bowling alley on your right and the primary entrance to the food court. North of the food court is a billiards room on the left, then turning east are accessible restrooms on the north wall, on the south wall is the stair alcove (containing telephones and a TDD phone), the north bank of elevators, vending across the hall and at the end (due east) is an arcade room.

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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
This page was last modified on: September 10, 1999