CHICAGO (CBS) — Meadville Lombard theological seminary will soon move to the Loop, after more than 80 years near the University of Chicago in Hyde Park, according to a published report.

The Hyde Park Herald reports the institution will move to a location on Michigan Avenue “in the coming months.”

The newspaper quoted seminary president Lee Barker as saying while Hyde Park is not a “liability,” moving the institution downtown provides “a different sense of the consciousness internationally.”

The U of C announced in January that it planned to buy the Unitarian Universalist seminary’s main academic building at 5701 S. Woodlawn Ave.

The seminary had decided the building no longer suited its needs because its educational model had shifted from a small residential operation to larger classes that rely largely on distance-learning, the U of C said in January.

The seminary is located just northeast of the U of C’s Main Campus, about a block from the bustling Reynolds Club student union and the Regenstein Library.

The U of C has not yet said how it will use the old Meadville building, the Herald reported.

Another Meadville building was sold to the U of C’s Chabad Jewish Center, which will use the Fleck House at 5700 S. Woodlawn Ave. as its new home, the Herald reported.

Also in Hyde Park this week, longtime resident Jack Spicer has filed a proposal to landmark several buildings along Woodlawn and University avenues on the east side of the U of C campus, the Herald reported.

In conjunction with the move, Hyde Parker Sam Guard is offering walking tours of University and Woodlawn between 55th and 58th streets, highlighting such locations as the famed Frank Lloyd Wright home the Robie House, and the 1930s Modernist Keck-Gottschalk-Keck three-flat farther north.

The blocks also include the fraternity houses for Psi Upsilon, Delta Upsilon and Phi Delta Theta, and several U of C office buildings. One of them, the Math-Stat Building at 5727 S. University Ave., was severely damaged in an extra-alarm fire last fall.

There are no reports of plans to demolish any of the buildings. But Guard told the Herald he was concerned that major changes could happen, since the U of C owns many of the buildings and recently moved the Seminary Co-Op Bookstore from the Chicago Theological Seminary, 5757 S. University Ave., to the historic McGiffert House at 5751 S. Woodlawn Ave., the Herald reported.

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