The Old Main Academic Center is named after the Old Main Dormitory, originally called the Main Dormitory. Its builders based the design on extensive study of Old Main's character and incorporated similar materials and elements.
Old Main Dormitory was the first dormitory on campus and was thought, in its day, to be the largest college dormitory in the United States. The first section was built in 1880, with additions in 1901, 1903, 1906, and 1922. Old Main was destroyed by fire on January 22, 1959. Bricks salvaged from the fire were used to build the Chapel of Memories. For more information on Old Main Dormitory and its history, visit the Gallery on the first floor of the Old Main Academic Center.