Columbia College Gets a New Dorm

The colleges in Chicago’s Loop just keep expanding.  The latest is Columbia College.

It’s leasing a 16-story building at 626 South Clark Street, formerly known as the Dwight Lofts.  Sorry I can’t post a photo of the building right now.  I have one, but can’t access it right now since I’m writing this on a train.

Columbia is giving up its dorm at Two East 8th Street.

Here’s Columbia’s press release:


Amenities of 178-Unit Building Tailored to Student Residence Hall Needs

CHICAGO (April 8, 2010) – Columbia College Chicago has signed a master lease agreement for a 16-story South Loop apartment building to serve as a residence hall for students beginning this fall.  The Dwight Lofts at 626 S. Clark Street will be leased from current owner ASB Capital Management of Bethesda, Md.

With 771 beds in 178 contemporary loft-style units, Dwight Lofts is a 1911 building that was rehabbed in 2008 to serve the growing student population in the South Loop. It includes a two-floor common area with soundproof music practice rooms, a 5,100-square-foot open-concept art studio space, and a 3,800-square-foot furnished lounge. There is also a large lobby area and top floor space for college programming and events.

“This building and its creative approach to design are ideal for us. The location is easily within walking distance to our other campus buildings, and the amenities fit the lifestyles of arts and media students at Columbia College,” said Mark Kelly, vice president of student affairs, adding that this is a great value for the college and enhances available space for student programs.

Formerly the headquarters of Dwight Brothers Paper Company, the building includes both two- and four-bedroom units with single beds as well as units with two double-occupancy bedrooms. Each unit has a furnished living room and eat-in kitchen. The building is wired for Wi-Fi Internet access in all units and common areas.

Columbia College will vacate a residence hall it currently occupies at 2 E. Eighth Street in May when that master lease expires and start the five-year term at Dwight Lofts for the fall semester. Currently, about 2,700 of the college’s more than 12,000 students live in campus housing, including 60 percent of freshmen.  In 2003, only 500 students and 15 percent of freshmen lived on campus.

The college also houses students in three other residence halls: a master lease at 59 E. Van Buren, an owned building at 731 S. Plymouth, and University Center of Chicago (525 S. State) which is jointly operated with DePaul and Roosevelt universities.

Columbia College Chicago is an urban institution that offers innovative degree programs in the visual, performing, media and communication arts to more than 12,000 students in over 120 undergraduate and graduate programs. An arts and media college committed to a rigorous liberal arts curriculum, Columbia is dedicated to opportunity and excellence in higher education. For further information, visit

Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at

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