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UT Tower an Old Landmark
The history of the Main Building and Library back to 1889, when the Old Main Building was completed on its present location.

Formerly known as "The Parthenon of the University's Acropolis," the gothic structure stood for nearly 50 years. The Old Main was the first building built on the University campus and was the only building for several years until construction was begun on the present building.

The Old Main, which contained administrative offices and faculty offices, also housed many classrooms after its completion. During its construction, students attended classes in a temporary Capitol building, located between the governor's mansion and the old courthouse.

In 1932, plans were announced to raze the old building and construct a new administration building and library. The present Main Building was completed in 1937, erected at a cost of $2 million, none of which was paid by taxpayers. Funds for the building's construction came from the university oil lands, a grant from the public works administration act, and a Main Building fund established by the late George W. Littlefield, benefactor of the University.

Included in the Main Building and Tower is the Mirabeau B. Lamar Library, the fifteenth largest university library in the United States and long considered one of the best libraries in the South.

Containing well over one and a half million volumes, the general library occupies parts of the ground, second, and third floors of the Main Building.

The 27-story Tower, dominant structure on the University campus, is the tallest building in Austin, being slightly taller than the Capitol Building. An average of 70,000 visitors view Austin and the campus each year from the Tower's observation deck, which is 307 feet above ground level.

Daily Texan. August 10, 1965.
Article by: Unknown

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3 May 1999
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