originally known as Main or the College, stood approximately where Beardshear Hall now stands for only 34 years. When it was built
and for many years after, it held the entire college. It housed classrooms, the library,
chapel, museums, dining halls, and was the residence of faculty and students.
Plans for the College Building began as early as 1858, but
construction wasn't able to begin until after the Civil War financial strains had past, in
the spring of 1864.
The construction of the building was plagued with problems
from the very start. The original architect was discharged after the first year of
construction for incompetence. When the second architect was hired, he determined that the
foundation done in the last year was unstable, due to the poor bricks used. The work done
in 1864 was ordered to be destroyed, and construction started over in the spring of 1865.
The new architect also found the plans in need of serious revisions. In spite of these
revisions, it was discovered once construction was completed that there were no provisions
in the structure for water, lighting, heat or drainage.
In 1882, a tornado damaged the south tower. A fire in 1900
destroyed the entire north wing, much of the interior of the center section, and damaged
much of the remaining building. The damage was barely repaired in 1902 when another fire
struck, this time in the south wing, completely destroying the building. Plans for
constructing Beardshear Hall on the same site began shortly