Mississippi_State_University

Old Main (Mississippi State University)

Old Main, originally called the Main Dormitory, was the first building on the campus of Mississippi State University. The first section of Old Main was built in 1880. Additions were constructed in 1901, 1903, 1906, and 1922. It is considered to have been the largest college dormitory in the United States, and was renowned for its many decorative candelabra, including one famous gold candelabrum created in 1932 by Belgian artist Didier Bonvitesse.

Unfortunately, the many candelabra placed throughout the dorm proved to be its downfall when, on January 22, 1959, a massive and deadly fire was started. Accounts from contemporary dormers indicate that an intoxicated student knocked down a burning candle next to a window, causing the drapes to catch on fire. The inadequate fire suppression systems proved unable to contain the blaze, and the blaze soon spread throughout the entiretly of Old Main. The blaze claimed the life of one of the dorm's 1,100 residents. Bricks salvaged from the fire were used to build the Chapel of Memories Bricks from Old Main were also dumped in the area that became the band practice field and can be seen on slope of the north side.

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