Old Main Virtual Museum Page
    Marshall College still did not have enough room to accommodate all its students and programs, even with the flurry of construction in the late 1890s. In response, the West Virginia legislature made two appropriations of $20,000 in March 1905, setting aside $40,000 for a “new building, including plumbing and heating and lighting apparatus.”
    The architectural firm of [E.S.C.] Holmboe & [R.C.] Lafferty of Clarksburg, WV, designed the new building, initially calling it "University Hall." The building was to be attached to the western side of the 1896 Building and to include “a large commencement hall, 8 recitation rooms, principal’s office and reception room, 5 lavatories, 2 cloak rooms, a study hall, a library and a gymnasium.” (MC 1905 Catalog, p. 18,)
    Davidson and Reich of Parkersburg won the contractor’s bid and started construction in July 1905 with the demolition of the 1896 Building’s western tower. The building's construction took nearly two years, being completed early in 1907.

    The 1907 building, 140 by 101 feet in dimension, was constructed with red brick on a strong stone foundation, similar to the previously constructed buildings as seen in this view from the northwest. Most impressive was the building’s western facade with its broad stone staircase and easily recognizable central Tudor-Gothic tower with octagonal turrets at each corner. The western facade instantly became the commonly recognized symbol for Marshall College.
    With the completion of the 1907 Building, Marshall College occupied five distinct yet inter-connected buildings, easily identified in these northwestern and southeastern views of the campus.

     BASEMENT - Much of the basement remained either unfinished or not excavated. A roomy gymnasium occupied the southeast corner, and across a hall way stood cloak rooms and rest rooms for men and women, separated by a furnace room.
     FIRST FLOOR - A large auditorium with a stage filled the southeast corner. Across a hallway to its north stood the General Library with adjacent rooms in the 1896 building for the Librarian and Documents Library. Along the west side were the President’s Offices, as well as rooms for the biology and geology departments. These included a Botany Laboratory and a Zoology Laboratory in the southwest corner. In the northwest corner was the classroom for the History Department. A Physics and Chemistry Laboratory was located in the 1896 Building. That building also held the Expression Studio, conveniently near the Auditorium.
     SECOND FLOOR - The northeast corner provided the auditorium’s balcony; across the hall to the north was a large study hall. The west side contained five classrooms, the two on the south for the Mathematics Department and the other three for the English Department.
     THIRD FLOOR - This floor contained the Music Director's studio, eight piano practice rooms, and three other studios for the Music Department, as well as a large studio for the Art Department.

    Since 1907 the building's exterior has not changed much. The western "towers" section is still the most identifiable part of the building. The southern entrance continues to allow easy access to the building from that side of the campus.

Page last modified 2 September 2004. | Maintained by the Lisle Brown, Curator, Special Collection
© 2003, Special Collections, Marshall University