Historic Santa Fe Building Becomes Executive MBA's Chicago Home
When the Executive MBA program starts classes at its new Chicago location in January 2007, it will be easy to find. Just look for the building downtown with its name in large letters on the roof: the Santa Fe , located at 224 South Michigan Avenue .
Founded in 2002, Notre Dame's EMBA program is now the third largest executive MBA program in the Windy City behind Northwestern University and the University of Chicago . In the new location, the program is poised to increase enrollment up to 140 students in both classes, says Associate Dean Leo Burke ('70).
“Our new location offers students larger, tiered classrooms, around-the-clock access to team study rooms and more amenities,” says Burke. “It also affords the opportunity for expanded custom programming in Chicago .”
Completed in 1904 and first named the Railway Exchange Building , the 17-story Santa Fe Building sat in front of the railroad yards in the city's early years. The structure may look like a typical Chicago commercial building, but it is a prime example of an early skyscraper and boasts some forward-thinking features for its day. The portholes along the cornice are not just decoration, but a way to let natural light into upper-level inner offices.
The Santa Fe was designed by architect Daniel H. Burnham. He also oversaw the
construction of the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893, dubbed “the White City,” as well as the 1909 Plan for Chicago, an urban design forever ensuring green space and public access along the lakefront.
Today the building also houses the Chicago Architecture Foundation and the city's largest architecture firm, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.