Champaign and Urbana Institute Building / Old Main University Building
The University traces its roots to the Urbana and Champaign Institute, whose building was the very political carrot that had enabled its existence. This building was known simply as University Building or, in its later days, Old Main University Building. It was "a substantial brick building very imposing in its appearance with stone foundation, standing on a beautiful elevation of ground" and located "about one-half mile from the Illinois Central railroad at Champaign City, and about an equal distance from Urbana, the county seat of Champaign County". 
Construction was originally to have begun August 1, 1860, with the building completed by November 15, 1862, but a lack of state funding repeatedly delayed construction. Original cost of the building and the surrounding grounds was estimated to be $60,000 to $80,000,  but by the time the contract with Reverend Jonathan C. Stoughton's company was finally signed on July 2, 1860, only $19,298.79 was paid.  Of the 193.9 acres purchased, 8 were set-aside as the grounds for the new building, with a 100-acre farm nearby. All in all, the new grounds and their surroundings were a "handsomely elevated tract of land, with a stream of living water running through [them]". 
The front of the five-story building was 125 feet across and 40 feet deep, with a single four-story wing of 44 by 70 feet that projected from its center. Each story was between 10 and 14 feet tall. Student housing was provided by 85-90 dormitory rooms, each 10x15 feet. For educational pursuits, there was a large recitation room and several painting rooms, with society rooms for social exploits. There was also a spacious dining room and chapel, along with a basement, kitchen, cellar, and an abundance of storage rooms. In total, there were around 170 to 180 rooms in the new building. 
In Spring 1879, storms seriously damaged the structure, and in 1880, the building known derisively as "The Elephant" was torn down.  On its former site, the Illinois Field basement diamond was later constructed and the University's first homecoming was conducted in 1910.