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Old Main

Anderson University's First Academic Building

Built in 1906, Old Main was the first building on what would become Anderson University campus. Before the opening of Anderson Bible Training School in 1917, the building was originally the Gospel Trumpet Home. When the school began using it for classes and office space in 1917, it was renamed Old Main.

The building was designed by Robert Byrum, who also designed and built Byrum Hall. Porches and balconies originally lined the exterior when it was the Gospel Trumpet Home but were later removed.

At various points in its sixty-two year history, Old Main held classrooms, offices, a library, labs for both science and home economics,  dining and sleeping rooms, and study spaces. During the 1941-1942 school year, a physics lab was added for science classes. Later, two home economics labs for cooking and textiles were added.

The southeast wing of Old Main was remodeled in 1950 for use of the School of Theology, since the School of Theology building would not be built for another eleven years. The Old Main SOT wing featured four offices, a prayer room, a reading room, classrooms, and a library. This wing was in addition to the general college library, which was first located on the second floor of Old Main, then moved to the fourth floor in 1940. At the time, it held 14,000 books and some current periodicals.

The outside of Old Main featured a fire escape, which can be seen in the gallery of photos below. Fire was a serious concern. One campus building, alternatively called the Old People's Home, East Hall, or Sunset Hall, caught fire twice and had to be rebuilt in 1908.

In 1968, Old Main was demolished to make way for Decker Hall, which was completed in 1970. Before demolition, at the college's 50th-anniversary celebration, the cornerstone was removed along with a jar containing a copy of The Gospel Trumpet and other documents. The cornerstone was stored until the university's 75th anniversary when it was placed in one of the outer walls of Decker Hall. 

References

  • Callen, Barry L. Guide of Soul and Mind: The Story of Anderson University. Anderson: Warner Press, 1992. Print.
  • "General Buildings" Folder, A.C./A.U. Buildings Documents, Anderson University and Church of God Archives