Old Main Essay

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Many scholars believe that the Moral Grant Act is one of the most important pieces of legislation in history of United States. The Moral Grant Act of 1862, named after congressional representative Justin Moral and signed by Abraham Lincoln, gives federal land to the states, which in turn sold that land to establish universities that share knowledge with the public. The Moral Grant Act allowed three thousand acres for university of Arkansas to buy land for its education facilities. “Competitive Bids were accepted from towns expressing an interest in being the location of the school” (Nancy). Many people like Judge Lafayette Gragge played an important role in the bid for the University’s location, and donated 120 acres for the university. In October 1871, Fayetteville won the bid, and they made capstone to build the Arkansas Industrial University campus. The school opened in February 1872 and became the center of education in Arkansas. For the time and effort the city of Fayetteville has contributed to the building and because the building is an architectural marvel, it should be preserved for history of Fayetteville properly.
After the university set up the location, the boards of trustees tried to find a good design to build a University Hall (Old Main). The board found that John Mills Van Osdel designed the main building for the Illinois Industrial University (university of Illinois): “The Arkansas representatives, viewing the Illinois building enviously, apparently persuaded the Illinois university administration to lend Arkansas an incomplete set of drawings and specifications of the new Illinois building for possible use in Arkansas” (Rothrock 30). It was very suitable for the Arkansas campus. Joseph Carter Corbin, president of the University of Arkansas board of trustees at the current time “signed the contract for the construction of university Hall (now called Old Main)” (Nancy). Thus, John Mills Van Osdel is the designer of Old Main and it was constructed by Mayes and Oliver. The architecture is second empire style, very beautiful and eye catching; it is a traditional building style in England and France. The building was made of mostly from local materials. The brown sandstone used for the foundation and basement was quarried near the building site itself. The contractor also used red bricks: “ The red bricks of Old Main’s outer walls were made from clay dug nearby, and fired in kilns built west of Old Main in the vicinity of present Garland Avenue”( Rothrock 7). Which is very popular material at the time. They are still in use and still have the beauty and strength they had when the building was first installed. The building originally cost 186 thousand dollars and took three years to complete. It is the oldest building on campus.
During the construction of Old Main Judge Lafayette Gragge was assigned to watch over Old Main building to make sure it was built properly between 1873 and 1875. Judge Lafayette Gragge was the founder of...

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