Chicago Marquette Institute

 The History of Chicago Marquette Institute

Chicago (population: 2.8 million) is located along the shores of Lake Michigan in northeastern Illinois. From its early days as a Potawatomie settlement, then as the site of Fort Dearborn in 1803, which led up to the formation of the city and its incorporation in 1833 and 1837, respectively, the “City of Big Shoulders” became a major location in the US for various reasons.

Railroads and water transportation were two reasons why Chicago was one of the fastest growing cities in the country during the 19th Century. Today, numerous railroads and highways of interstate, US, state, and local designations bring people together in the city on a daily basis, as does air traffic at O’Hare and Midway Airports. Chicago is a melting pot of people from many nationalities, making it ethnically diverse, and thus is referred to as “the financial, economic, and cultural capital of the Midwest (according to Wikipedia).”

Picking up where DePaul University Loop High School left off due to education regulations that prohibited high school and college courses from being held in the same building, Marquette Institute opened in 1936 to provide a high school education for those who had not finished requirements towards a diploma and wanted to go on to college.

The non-profit corporation of Catholic lay teachers operated Marquette Institute in the Ashland Institute building on Clark Street in the center of Chicago’s business district. Lay teachers (those that were not from a religious order) as well as priests were on the faculty, while the majority of the students were Catholic. Similar to DePaul Loop, a graduate of Marquette was admitted to either the University of Illinois or Loyola University without an entrance exam.

Unforunately, Marquette Institute’s life was short-lived. In the spring of 1946, the school closed its doors after 470 were enrolled that school year. The Servite Fathers from St. Philip would pick up where Marquette left off the following fall.


Year opened:               1936

Year closed:                1946


Then here is your chance to add to the story about this school that served older high school students for 10 years. We’re looking for information about the school, memories of students who attended the school–especially those that might have gone to one of the two universities mentioned above about how Marquette prepared them for college, a photo of the school, and more. Please contact us at or click here to complete a Guest Commentary form. Another way is to send thru the USPS. Our address is:

Illinois High School Glory Days

6439 North Neva

Chicago, IL  60631

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