Main Building (Vassar College)

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Main Building, Vassar College
Old Main, Vassar College edit1.jpg
Building in 2007, seen from near the entrance to campus
Main Building (Vassar College) is located in New York
Main Building (Vassar College)
Main Building (Vassar College) is located in the United States
Main Building (Vassar College)
LocationPoughkeepsie, New York
Coordinates41°41′12.03″N 73°53′44.99″W / 41.6866750°N 73.8958306°W / 41.6866750; -73.8958306Coordinates: 41°41′12.03″N 73°53′44.99″W / 41.6866750°N 73.8958306°W / 41.6866750; -73.8958306
ArchitectJames Renwick, Jr.
Architectural styleSecond Empire
NRHP reference #73001183
Significant dates
Added to NRHPSeptember 19, 1973[1]
Designated NHLJune 24, 1986[2]

Main Building is on the Vassar College campus in Poughkeepsie, New York. It was built by James Renwick, Jr. in the Second Empire style in 1861, the second building in the history of what was one of America's first women's colleges. It is one of the earliest, largest, and most important examples of Second Empire architecture in the United States and is a National Historic Landmark. At the time of its completion, the structure contained the most interior space of any building in the United States, and housed the entire college, including dormitories, libraries, classrooms, and dining halls. Currently, the first and second floors house campus administration while the remaining three (including the second floor wings) house student rooms.

It was taken over by protesters in 1969[3] and again in 1990.[4]

It was named a National Historic Landmark in 1986.[2][5] The Vassar Observatory, the first building built on the Vassar campus, is also a National Historic Landmark.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ National Park Service (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  2. ^ a b "Main Building, Vassar College". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. 2007-09-17.
  3. ^ Takeover of Main Building, 1971, at Vassar Encyclopedia
  4. ^ Vassar Students End Sit-In; Moynihan Defends Lecture, 1990, New York Times
  5. ^ Carolyn Pitts (1978). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Main Building, Vassar College" (pdf). National Park Service. and Accompanying photos, exterior and interior, from 1978, c. 1950, and other dates. And lithograph from 1864. (2.93 MB)

External links[edit]