"Old College", Northwestern University's First Building, Opens

Old College was the first building constructed at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and was completed in 1855.

The cornerstone of the building was laid on June 15, 1855, at what is now the corner of Hinman and Davis streets in Evanston. The three-story frame building was completed by the start of the University's first classes on November 5 of that year at a total cost of $5,937. From its completion, Old College was home to all activities of the new university and originally housed a chapel, classrooms, and rooms for two literary societies. Attic lofts also served as dorm rooms for several of students. In 1856, the Board of Trustees met in Old College and appointed a Committee on Library, officially establishing Northwestern's first library in Old College. This remained the main library on campus until the construction of University Hall.