Champaign is notable for sharing the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign campus with its twin city of Urbana. This is the largest campus in the University of Illinois system. Champaign is a city of 71,568 residents; however, the city hopes to add another 4,700 members to its population. The city used to be called West Urbana, until it acquired a charter in 1860. Champaign, Urbana, and the neighboring town of Savoy form the Champaign-Urbana Metropolitan Area.
Downtown Champaign has recently been the focus of a major revitalization project in an effort to, once again, make it the center of city life. Many of the historic buildings have been restored in addition to the implementation of new construction projects. Restaurants, bars, condominiums, office space, and shops have greatly increased the size of the downtown area. New construction projects have maintained the turn-of-the-century architecture of the older buildings in the area. Development near the northern boundary of town has coincided with that of downtown Champaign, except that this new growth is more reminiscent of the urban sprawl associated with suburban Atlanta or Houston.
A notable landmark of the city is the Champaign City Building, which serves as City Hall. This art deco-style building is the most visible in downtown Champaign. The Tower at 3rd is also a structure of interest, as it soars over 20 stories high in the Campustown district. The Tower houses several University of Illinois offices as well as student apartments. The skyscraper, along with a few neighboring buildings, give Campustown the feel of a city.