Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project

 

 
Old Main Building

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Institution Name: McMurry University
Original/Historic Place Name: Administration Building
Location on Campus: 2242 Hunt St.
Date(s) of Construction:
1923original construction
Designer: unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Beaux-Arts classicism (Glossary)
Significance: culture, education
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Materials:
Foundation: concrete, basement under one wing
Walls: brick veneer
Roof: built-up tar and aggregate
 
Function:
1923-present (2006)old main
 

Narrative:
The oldest building on campus, Old Main is in remarkably good shape, due in part to the University's efforts at preserving the structure. Renovations through the years have changed the interior landscape, and in the 1970s the east, west, and south windows were bricked up and modern windows installed in the north (front) face. In the late 1980s, the exterior was scrubbed and given a coat of weather-proof sealant. Though a small tornado crossed over the building about 1980, snapping nearby power poles and uprooting adjacent trees, the structure was undamaged.

Old Main has been the visible symbol of the school from its beginnings. The facade of the building is used as the centerpiece of the University Seal, and until after World War II Old Main was the central focus of the cultural and educational life on campus. As new postwar buildings took over some of its functions, Old Main became less significant. It is still a campus landmark, however, as well as the site of significant educational and administrative activities.
 

References:

Dase, Amy E. McMurry College Administration Building. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1992.

Pride of Our Western Prairie, McMurray College, 1923-1982. Abilene, TX: McMurry University, 1989.

 

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Last update: November 2006