UK Holds Grand Opening of Main Building

Contact: Mary Margaret Colliver

Photo of ribbon-cutting ceremony in front of the Main Buidling
The ribbon-cutting ceremony in front of the Main Building.

""

The Main Building houses the Visitors Center, two “smart” classrooms, meeting rooms, a public room, and offices for the president, provost, executive vice president for research, executive vice president for finance and administration, other senior administrators and staff, the Commission on Women, the Commission on Diversity, and the councils for the University Senate and Staff Senate.

""

Link to Main Building facts

Link to Main Building history

Link to Main Building construction history

Link to Main Building contents of time capsule

Link to Dr. Todd's Address on the Opening of the Main Building (listen)

Link to Web cam

""

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 25, 2004) -- A ribbon cutting ceremony was held today for the new University of Kentucky Main Building. The ceremony marks the completion of an extensive restoration project and the beginning of a new chapter in the history of the Commonwealth’s flagship university.

UK’s oldest campus landmark was damaged by fire on May 15, 2001. Located at the heart of campus, the original Main Building was dedicated in 1882, providing space for all university functions and housing the president’s office, classrooms (which doubled as faculty offices), the armory, a chapel, and cafeteria. It was one of the original State College buildings and is the only one still standing. The cost was $81,000. In 1948, the building became known as the Administration Building.

In 2003 when an $8 million fund-raising endeavor was announced to assist in restoration of the building, officials called the effort “Reflecting the Past—Illuminating the Future.” The goal of the restoration was to bring the building into the modern era. At that time, it was decided the building should again be called The Main Building.

Participating in the official ceremony were UK President Lee T. Todd Jr.; UK First Lady Patsy Todd; Thomas D. Clark, professor emeritus and former chair of the UK Department of History, and the Commonwealth Historian Laureate; Terry Mobley, UK vice president for institutional advancement; Kentucky Historical Society representative; Jennifer Yue, UK Student Development Council; UK Board of Trustees members; and other UK officials.

As part of the official ceremony, a historical marker was placed in front of the Main Building and a time capsule was sealed. Tours of the restored facility followed the ceremony.

Prior to the ribbon cutting ceremony, Todd led a campus assembly from the building’s new balcony, which overlooks the Main Building Plaza and the statue of James K. Patterson, UK’s first president.

“This is a great day in University of Kentucky history,” said Todd. “Built in 1881 with clay and stone found right here on campus, the Main Building is an important Kentucky landmark. Opening it again, not just to administrators but to the entire campus community, is a tremendous feeling. I look forward to this building remaining a university icon for many years to come.”

The $17.35 million, state-of-the-art facility contains 43,243 square feet, featuring a new fourth floor, a fifth floor mechanical room penthouse, and two balconies. The renovation increased the building’s square footage by 12,543.

The Main Building houses the Visitors Center, two “smart” classrooms, meeting rooms, a public room, and offices for the president, provost, executive vice president for research, executive vice president for finance and administration, other senior administrators and staff, the Commission on Women, the Commission on Diversity, and the councils for the University Senate and Staff Senate.

The building’s architects are R.M. Kliment & Frances Halsband Architects of New York, N.Y., in association with James W. Potts and Associates of Lexington. Messer Construction Company of Lexington served as construction manager.


Back to Campus News Homepage