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

College Ave., DeKalb, IL
Northern Illinois University, in garden along walkway east of Altgeld Hall.
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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]


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 ExhibitBarbed Wire History Exhibit, DeKalb, IL - < 1 mi.
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Railroad Intersection, Hobo Fire PitRailroad Intersection, Hobo Fire Pit, Rochelle, IL - 16 mi.
In the region:
Broken Symmetry: Particle Physics, Batavia, IL - 26 mi.

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