Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Old Main

Click on image titles for larger views.
Institution Name: McKendree College
Original/Historic Place Name: Old Main
Location on Campus: The top of College Hill, south view
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1851original construction Unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: stone; brick
Walls: brick
Roof: wood framing; tin; aluminum
1851-present (2007)old main

Significance: education, history
Landmark designation:
Narrative: see below
References: see below

Old Main, the oldest building on the campus of McKendree College, is a sturdy red brick building built when Illinois was still part of the western frontier. That an educational structure could remain intact with no visible redesign in over 150 years of service is a testament to the quality of its construction and its significance. While the building has been renovated inside to meet current educational needs, the Philosophian and Platonian rooms still remain. While these literary society rooms are now large classrooms, they still retain much of their look from the 19th century. The "Philo" room retains the dome with the Philo name at its peak.

Old Main is still a vital building to the McKendree campus, with classrooms and offices on all three floors. This historic structure meets modern needs despite its age and is located on the hilltop with the other historic buildings on campus. Governors, U.S. Senators, and ambassadors, along with thousands of others, have learned and studied in this simply designed structure.

I. Bibliographic sources:

Old Main Building [McKendree College]. Historic American Buildings Survey report and photographs. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1936.

McKendree College History, 1928-1978. Paducah, KY: Turner Publishing, 1996.

Selected items in College collections (including yearbooks, newspapers, catalogs, clippings). Archives. McKendree College, Lebanon, IL.

Steen, Robert, McKendree College. Lebanon, IL: McKendree College, 1948.

Walton, William A. Centennial McKendree College History with St. Clair County. Lebanon, IL: McKendree College, 1928.

II. Location of other data:
University: Library, Special Collections
Government Offices

Contact us / About Site / About CIC
© 2006
Council of Independent Colleges
One Dupont Circle, Ste. 320
Washington, DC
All rights reserved
Last update: November 2006