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Old Main

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1886, Larmour and Herbert

Stylistic terms can barely describe the eclectic exuberance of Old Main, a symmetrical, three-story red brick building with contrasting stone stringcourses and shawl lintels over segmental-arched windows. The advancing central tower has a steep, metal-shingled mansard roof rising from bracketed cornices that is capped by a columned belfry with its own steep roof. Corner towers have false dormers positioned halfway up their similar steeply pitched roofs. The central tower was weakened in a tornado in 1953 and removed, then reconstructed in 1973. Adjacent Georgia Burleson Hall, begun shortly after Old Main, is a near twin, the two buildings together defining the original quadrangle of the campus by lining up shoulder to shoulder, rather than facing each other.

Writing Credits

Gerald Moorhead et al.


What's Nearby


Gerald Moorhead et al., "Old Main", [Waco, Texas], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Texas

Buildings of Texas: Central, South, and Gulf Coast, Gerald Moorhead and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2013, 126-126.

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