“…this beautiful structure…will be an impregnable fortress, against which the wild waves of ignorance and tyranny might eternally beat in vain.”
-- Superintendent William H. Powell, 1858.
was the first building of Illinois State University, the oldest public institution of higher learning in Illinois. After serving the University for one hundred years, the Main building was razed in 1958, but remains an important archeological and historical site. Through the Old Main Project, students, faculty, and alumni collaborate to tell the building’s proud story through the analysis of excavated artifacts, oral histories, and historical documents.
Co-Directed by James M. Skibo and Gina L. Hunter, the Project is affiliated with the Illinois State University Department of Sociology & Anthropology. The Co-Directors are grateful for the support of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and the Office of the President as well as the assistance of our colleagues in, Alumni Relations, Milner Library, the Dr. Jo Ann Rayfield Archives at Illinois State University, and the Illinois State Museum Research and Collections Center.
The time capsule was recovered in 1958, but there is still much more to be learned (University Archives 1417).