Main Administration Building (University of Notre Dame)
|Main Administration Building|
Golden Dome of the Main Administration Building
|Architectural style||Collegiate Gothic|
|Town or city||South Bend, Indiana|
|Construction started||May 17, 1879|
|Completed||September 1, 1879|
|Client||University of Notre Dame|
|Design and construction|
The University of Notre Dame's Main Administration Building (known as the Main Building or the "Golden Dome") houses various administrative offices, including the Office of the President. Construction of the Main Building began in 1864 and was completed in 1865. The building stood for 14 years before being destroyed by fire in the spring of 1879.
University founder Father Edward Sorin immediately planned for the rebuilding of the structure that had housed virtually the entire University: "I came here as a young man and dreamed of building a great university in honor of Our Lady," he said. "But I built it too small, and she had to burn it to the ground to make the point. So, tomorrow, as soon as the bricks cool, we will rebuild it, bigger and better than ever."
Immediately after the fire, the University took action, selecting a new design by Willoughby J. Edbrooke and commencing construction. The current Main Building was completed before the fall semester of 1879. The Golden Dome that caps the Main Building was a gift from the sisters of adjacent Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame's sister school.
Steps Tradition and Superstition
In campus lore, if a student ascended the front steps of the Main Building before graduation, that student was doomed never to graduate. This legend stems from traditionalist smoking rituals. Students were not deemed worthy to climb the steps and smoke with their professors until they received their degrees and were educational equals.
- University of Notre Dame, Sights and Sounds: Main Building, http://www.nd.edu/campus-and-community/sights-sounds/virtual-tour/
- University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame Archives, http://archives.nd.edu/main.htm
- University of Notre Dame, Sights and Sounds: Golden Dome, http://nd.edu/campus-and-community/sights-sounds/virtual-tour/main-building-int/#tour-nav
- Schlereth, Thomas, A Dome of Learning
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