Old Main (Arizona State University)
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Old Main, built in 1898
|Architect||James M. Creighton|
|Architectural style||Victorian, with Queen Anne influences|
|NRHP reference #||85000052|
|Added to NRHP||1985|
Old Main is the second building on the campus of Arizona State University, in Tempe, Arizona. It was built in 1898, 14 years before Arizona became a state. In 1985, Old Main was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Dedicated in February 1898, Old Main was originally all classrooms on the second and third floor, with an auditorium (the Assembly Hall) on the upper floor and a library on the lower level (which now houses the university's telephone service unit). In 1911, Theodore Roosevelt came to Arizona for the dedication of the Roosevelt Dam, and spoke on the steps of Old Main. In his speech, he envisioned the opportunities the dam and the resulting irrigation for farming would create for Arizona and opined that some day perhaps as many as 100,000 people might live in the valley. The dam made possible the Salt River Project and eventually led to the evolution of the Salt River Valley as a major metropolitan area.
For decades, Old Main was the largest building in the Valley. Its significance to the development of both Tempe and the university was great. After Old Main was built, alumni went to the legislature to ask that the admission standards be raised, in order to bring the stature of the institution to the stature of the building.
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