Old Main

North Dakota State University Walking Tour

Old Main

Fargo, North Dakota 58105, United States

Created By: North Dakota State University

Point of Interest Details

Old Main was the first building on campus, and is now recognized as the building that gave rise to this ever-growing university. The building of Old Main began in February of 1891 when the North Dakota State Legislature appropriated $25,000 towards its construction. The building was fully completed by 1893. At that time, the university was known as North Dakota Agricultural College and Old Main was referred to as College Hall. In 1891 the first cornerstone was laid and a dedication ceremony commenced. It is said that at the dedication, there was no flag available to raise in its honor, so students made a pennant with a pair of overalls. By the end of 1891 the lower level was completed, and College Hall was officially open for use on January 3, 1892.

In 1983, an additional $3,000 was appropriated by the legislation to officially complete the building. College Hall was home to many events and had a variety of uses. It housed classrooms, offices and laboratories for students and faculty to use. Other spaces included a chapel, library, Little Country Theatre and even a gymnasium. Over the years the spaces have been remodeled to meet new purposes. The chapel is now known as the log cabin and is used as a meeting room. The theatre has since been replaced, but if you know which ceiling tile to push up you can still see its original flooring. The original floor is currently hidden between the third and fourth floor of the building.

The building was also renamed as Old Main, and today is home to North Dakota State University’s administration offices such as the President, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Vice President for Business and Finance, Vice President for Student Engagement and Inclusion, Vice President for University Relations, and Vice President for Equity, Diversity and Global Outreach. The building has undergone both minor and major remodeling over the years.


  1. North Dakota State University. "Old Main," Accessed October 15, 2016. https://www.ndsu.edu/alphaindex/buildings/Building::280
  2. North Dakota State University Archives. “Old Main,” Accessed October 15, 2016. https://library.ndsu.edu/fargo-history/
  3. Current Photo of Old Main by Courtney Johnson
  4. Old Photo of Old Main, NDSU Archives https://flic.kr/p/86KDzH

This point of interest is part of the tour: North Dakota State University Walking Tour


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