Old Main was the first building of Illinois State University, the oldest State institution of higher learning in Illinois. The once majestic building was razed in 1958 and it would seem that little remains of this structure’s 100 year story. But this is not the case. As discovered in a 1981 archaeological excavation, Old Main’s foundation and much of its lower floor remain intact just below today’s flower beds on the Quad. The building also lives on in the memories of those who used it when it was the university’s centerpiece.
The Old Main Project is dedicated to telling the building’s proud story through the analysis of excavated remains, oral histories, and historical documents. Explore this site to learn a little of the Old Main's history through the timeline, selected interview excerpts, and images. New materials and updates on the progress of the Project will be posted regularly.