The cornerstone of the first university building – “Old Main” – was laid November 17, 1882. The Victorian Gothic building was built in three parts on the original forty acres: west wing completed in January 1884; center portion in 1889; east wing in 1899. Constructed of light colored brick, the building cost $250,000 at completion. Law classes first met in the basement of the west wing, and later in the basement of the east wing. In 1932 the plans were announced to raze the old building in order to construct the new administration-library building. The original building was demolished in 1935 to make room for the current Main Building and Tower, completed in 1937.
All that remains of the Old Main Building are its carillon bells, which are now exhibited as part of a permanent display outside the university's Bass Concert Hall.