Campus sits west of the Chicago river, at the circle interchange of the Kennedy and Eisenhower expressways. In the 60s UIC wedged its way into and consumed Chicago’s Little Italy, grew tentacles into the near west and south sides. At one time called Circle Campus after the knot of concrete ramps where the two arteries bisect, it was built similarly of concrete in a style called Brutalism, emulating Soviet public housing, “riot proof,” with double-layer covered walkways akin to parking garages, an open-air amphitheater and massive concrete wheelchair ramps to 2nd floor entries reiterating the circle motif. A miniature replica of an Eastern Bloc city, and likewise now with crumbling concrete, permanent scaffolding erected to protect students and faculty milling on (and off) grass lined footpaths under trees that replaced the severe web of covered walkways in the 90s. The circular quad in front of 24-story University Hall underwent a decade-long project (that should’ve taken about a year) to add grassy knolls, flowered borders, and (perhaps a reminder of Brutalism) tile-lined fountains that rarely run because they’re broken. But I walk campus without envy for Northwestern, University of Chicago, DePaul, or Loyola. They have tradition, bigger trees, a vine-covered brick building probably called “Old Main.” We have Brutalism. It’s where part of me – a native Californian – lives, has lived for almost 20 years.