Dark Matter: Is Lakemont a Real College in Chicago?

In Apple TV+’s sci-fi drama series, ‘Dark Matter,’ a whole new world opens up to Jason Dessen when he is attacked one night by a mysterious man. It turns out that all the choices he has ever made in his life have created different worlds, all of which have one or the other version of his life. Following the attack, he discovers that he is stuck in a version he sometimes fantasizes about but doesn’t belong to. The quest to get his original life back, where he is with his wife and kids and is content with his job as a professor at Lakemont College, defines his journey in the show. Considering that a lot of things in Jason’s other life and other Chicago are not real, it is no surprise that Lakemont is one of them.

The Lakemont College in Dark Matter Doesn’t Exist

‘Dark Matter’ brings to life the story written by Blake Crouch in his best-selling novel of the same name. It is in the novel that Crouch mentions Lakemont College, but it doesn’t exist, at least not in our reality. Because the show is set in Chicago, it was almost entirely shot in the Windy City, and the college where we watch Joel Edgerton’s Jason Dessen giving lectures to his uninterested students is also in Chicago. The scenes regarding the classes and other things in the university were filmed at The Joseph Regenstein Library and The Joe and Rika Mansueto Library, both of which are known for their incredible collections.

The Mansueto Library is also known for its architecture, which has brought it the Distinguished Building Citation of Merit by the American Institute of Architects’ Chicago chapter. The building is set apart by its “soaring elliptical glass dome capping a 180-seat Grand Reading Room.” The library also boasts “state-of-the-art conservation and digitization laboratories and an underground high-density automated storage and retrieval system.” All of this and more has led the Chicago Architecture Foundation to bestow a Patron of the Year Award on it.

Several other locations all over Chicago were used to piece together the reality that Jason Dessen and numerous other versions of him live in. Locals noticed Millenium Park and Lake Shore Drive, among others, being used by the production crew of Apple TV+’s show. An abandoned building in Blue Island also set the stage for one of the most important plot points in the show. Remarking on all the great locations that were filmed at, author Blake Crouch said that the variety of locations provided by the city was instrumental in creating the several worlds that the show takes the audience through. A couple of locations become markers in the story through which Jason tries to find the difference between his lives. His job at Lakemont undoubtedly falls on that list.

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