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In 1893, The Evangelical Covenant Church (North Park University's sponsoring institution) chose to move its school from Minneapolis to an area northwest of Chicago known as North Park. J. A. Modin built Old Main between the summer of 1893 and the summer of 1894, and classes began in the fall of 1894. Old Main was thus the first building on campus and housed all departments of the school. Atop the roof is the cupola, an open octagonal bell tower recognized as the symbol of North Park. The cupola was electrically lighted in 1926 and became a landmark for air pilots. It was the tallest point on the city's north side.
In 1982, Old Main was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was then completely renovated and today houses much of North Park's administrative offices. Both Old Main and its cupola remain symbols of North Park University and the local area.
Carlson, Leland H. A History of North Park College, Commemorating the Fiftieth Anniversary, 1891-1941. Chicago, IL: North Park College, 1941.
Old Main Building [North Park College]. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1982.