Celebration to Reintroduce Old Main as the Heart of the Campus
Classic, 123-year-old building will host a celebration of its renovation on Oct. 8.

University Relations - Communications
Sept. 23, 2014


Hattie Rose Groskind, a UA freshman, is among those who have stopped by to enjoy Old Main since it reopened with extensive improvements at the start of the academic year.
Hattie Rose Groskind, a UA freshman, is among those who have stopped by to enjoy Old Main since it reopened with extensive improvements at the start of the academic year. (Photo credit: Ken Sterns/UANews)

The recent reopening of the University of Arizona's Old Main will be recognized with a community celebration and formal reintroduction of the most iconic building on campus.

A public welcome and ribbon cutting will be held from 4-6 p.m. Oct. 8 at 1200 E. University Blvd.

Members of the campus and community at large are encouraged to attend and to share photos and stories of Old Main via #OldMainUA on Twitter. Photos and stories also can be shared via email for an opportunity to be included in a UANews.org spotlight.

"I am very pleased that we have been able to save Old Main and rehabilitate it in a way that will make it a centerpiece of the UA campus for generations of Wildcats to come," said UA President Ann Weaver Hart, who will speak during the community event.

Hart's office is co-hosting the event with the offices of James H. Moore Jr., the UA Foundation president, and Melinda Burke, the UA Alumni Association president and vice president for alumni relations.

"This ribbon cutting and celebration will be a wonderful opportunity to honor both the history of Old Main and the promise for the University's future that it represents," Hart said. "I hope to see many members of our campus community at the event."

During the event, the Pride of Arizona marching band, UA cheerleaders, and mascots Wilma and Wilbur will parade down the UA Mall, leading to the east-side steps of Old Main.

A formal introduction will be held at the base of the building on the east side. After the ribbon cutting, the public will be invited to tour Old Main. The tour is self-guided, and members of the Arizona Ambassadors and Poster Frost Mirto, the lead architectural team for the renovation, will be stationed throughout the building to speak about Old Main's history, renovation and future. Mortar Board members also will attend the event, serving as guides.

"Its physical restoration may be complete, but the fundraising continues. Now donors can see firsthand how their support of this iconic facility will impact students and the UA community," said Moore, who also will speak at the event. "From naming the newly renovated public spaces, to purchasing a tile from the original roof, donors can invest in our past and our future with a gift to Old Main."

Donations to the building may be made online, via the UA Foundation's site.

The restored Old Main visually and physically represents the University's past, present and future. And with the building's reopening, it is seen as an open, public space designed for community connection.

Once dilapidated and worn, Old Main's two-level veranda, its dressed-stone foundation, its brick columns and its iconic metal roof (fish-scale shingles, double-curved mansard and standing seam) have been replicated with modern materials or fully restored. It is the most comprehensive upgrade in the building's 123-year history.

The building's central cruciform hallway and restored-height ceilings are roomier and a return to the elegance of the original James Creighton design. The cruciform gallery now houses a public exhibition space, showcasing artwork and artifacts from museums across campus.  

The newly renovated veranda offers new functional event space, with the floor structure improved to carry building code-compliant 100 pounds per square foot to accommodate large campus events – up from the previous rating at 40 pounds.

And in keeping with its original territorial architectural design, the building's upgraded features include sustainable and technological improvements that will enable Old Main to serve the campus for generations to come. Also, the building meets the LEED certification standards of the U.S. Green Building Council.

Said Moore: "Old Main once again stands as a symbol of Wildcat pride for UA alumni and donors."

If disability-related accommodations are needed for the celebration event, contact Presidential Events and Visitor Services by Oct. 2 at 626-4349 or presrsvp@email.arizona.edu.


Extra info


Old Main Celebration


Old Main, 1200 E. University Blvd.


4-6 p.m.

Members of the public are encouraged to park at the Tyndall Avenue Garage, located at 880 E. Fourth St.


For disability-related accommodations, contact Presidential Events and Visitor Services at 520-626-4349 or presrsvp@email.arizona.edu by Oct. 2.


Also, consider sharing your photos you have taken at Old Main, and your stories associated with the building, using #OldMainUA on Twitter or via email for a chance to be included in a UANews.org spotlight.


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La Monica Everett-Haynes

University Relations, Communications




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University Relations, Communications