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When motorists drive through Normal, Illinois there is a building known to catch their eye: Watterson Towers.

This fall, Watterson Towers will be celebrating its 50th year as the tallest point between Chicago and St. Louis. The birthday celebration will take place on Friday, October 12, during Homecoming week.

University Housing Services invites alumni with an affinity to Watterson Towers to join in the celebration from 6-8 p.m. in the Rosa Parks Conference Room at Watterson Towers. A program will take place at 6:30 p.m. and will include a presentation by Vice President Levester Johnson and Watterson Towers’ alumnus Jim Sheldon.

Sheldon ’83, spent more than two years as a resident and a resident assistant in Watterson Towers. In 1987-88, he spent the winter creating a 1:87 scale model of the residence hall. Guests at the event will have a chance to view Sheldon’s now 31-year-old model in addition to 3D-printed scaled models of room types in Watterson created by design students on-campus in 2017-18.

At the time of its opening, Watterson Towers was the largest residence hall in the world and held the title until 2015 with the opening of 33 Beekman in New York.

Watterson Towers holds characteristics important to University Housing and Illinois State, including the ability to adapt to change. Watterson Towers has continued renovations and maintenance, keeping it in highest demand to incoming Illinois State freshmen, filling up with residents just a week into the room selection process for fall 2018. Among these renovations includes a stunning lounge named Bird’s Eye View located at the top level of the towers.

In addition to the presentation, attendants will have the opportunity to tour Bird’s Eye View, which overlooks the Bloomington-Normal community with a Redbird twist.

The event is free to attend and will include refreshments and appetizers. An RSVP is required to attend the Birthday Celebration. Please RSVP at The deadline to register is October 9.

Former Watterson Residence are also invited to join the Watterson Towers Facebook Group and share stories and positive experiences from their time as a resident for a chance to be featured at the event.