CentreCyclopediaOld Main

Old MainOld Main

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Date Built: 1871

Architect: John Andrewartha

In 1863 the Board of Trustees accepted a plan from the architectural firm of Vodges and Hancliffe (Louisville) for the construction of a new college building at a cost of $32,000. Unfortunately the Board had picked the wrong time to begin such a project. The Civil War created problems in obtaining lumber, labor was scarce, and prices constantly fluctuated. In 1864 the Board decided to abandon the project until "the troubles of the country" were over. By 1866 prices had so escalated that the Board estimated it would cost between $45,000 and $50,000 to construct the building. The 1869 minutes authorized the Building Committee of the Board to move forward with the project. Plans were drawn up and let out for bids, and John Andrewartha, of Stancliffe and Andrewartha, was hired as architect. By 1870 work was in progress, and the building was ready for use by the fall of 1871.

For several years, until the construction of Old Young in 1909, Old Main served as the college's only academic building. The 1909-1910 college catalog describes it as having three stories and a basement. One the first floor were the museum and the biology lecture room and laboratories; on the second the chapel and lecture rooms for the departments of English, Latin, and Greek; and on the third the halls and libraries of the literary societies. In later years college offices, post office and bookstore were in the basement.

Old Main was demolished in the summer of 1964 to provide space for the construction of the new Grace Doherty Library.