DeKalb, Illinois: The Grotesque - Ill-Fated College Gargoyle

Stone gargoyle named "Olive Goyle" is a campus landmark, knocked from its Altgeld Hall perch by lightning in 1966, beheaded by vandals in 1996, decorated with gag heads for years, finally restored in 2013 and waiting for the next indignity....

Northern Illinois University

Address:
College Ave., DeKalb, IL
Directions:
Northern Illinois University, in garden along walkway east of Altgeld Hall.
Save to My Sights

Visitor Tips and News About The Grotesque - Ill-Fated College Gargoyle

Reports and tips from RoadsideAmerica.com visitors and Roadside America mobile tipsters. Some tips may not be verified. Submit your own tip.

The Grotesque - Ill-Fated College Gargoyle

While the gargoyle is neat, the building it is by is the attraction. Part of the original castle built for NIU.

[C Woods, 03/06/2018]

Grotesque.

The Grotesque

The Grotesque is a gargoyle statue located in the garden east of Altgeld Hall on Northern Illinois University Campus. After the first NIU graduation ceremony, it was struck by lightning. A year later, lightning struck the same place twice, and the gargoyle was moved to its current location due to fear for its safety.

[Doug Dirr, 07/30/2014]

Nicknamed "Olive Goyle" at some point, the gargoyle was one of eleven on Altgeld Hall, which was built in the 1890s. It was knocked off its perch by lightning in 1966. Supposedly safer in the garden, someone chiseled off Olive's head in 1996; the head was restored in 2013.


Nearby Offbeat Places

Barbed Wire History Exhibit, Little HouseBarbed Wire History Exhibit, Little House, DeKalb, IL - < 1 mi.
Mighty Mouse and ElephantMighty Mouse and Elephant, Malta, IL - 5 mi.
Statue of Mr. PumpkinStatue of Mr. Pumpkin, Sycamore, IL - 5 mi.
In the region:
Weber Grill Restaurant - Giant Grill, Lombard, IL - 40 mi.

Latest Tips Across Roadside America

Catch up on the latest discoveries from the road.

Explore Thousands of Oddball Tourist Attractions!

Unique destinations in the U.S. and Canada are our special obsession. Use our attraction recommendation and maps to plan your next road trip.

My Sights

My Sights on Roadside America

Create and Save Your Own Crazy Road Trip! ...Try My Sights

Mobile Apps

Roadside America app: iPhone, iPad Roadside America app for iPhone, iPad. On-route maps, 1,000s of photos, special research targets! ...More

Roadside Presidents app: iPhone, iPad Roadside Presidents app for iPhone, iPad. POTUS landmarks, oddities. ...More

Illinois Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

SPAM Museum, Austin, Minnesota (Sep 20-26, 2021)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings

RoadsideAmerica.com Hotel & Motel Finder

Special rates for hotels.

Book Now