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Tag Archives: Jerry Ballas

History of Main Hall

The University of Montana was established in 1893 and students took classes in the “old Willard School.” The first series of buildings were designed around the oval in 1895. The University of Montana expand its territories and set of buildings. Today the University of Montana has 156 acres, 64 buildings, a 23,500-seat football stadium and nine dormitory residence halls.

Main Hall is the oldest building at the University of Montana and is situated right across the oval at the “heart of the campus.” Main Hall presents the “birth of this institution.” A. J. Gibson, well known architect, designed Main Hall as “the Richardsonian Romanesque style building.” The Main Hall and school opening was in 1899. “During the university’s dedication ceremony in 1898, corn, oil, and water symbolizing plenty, joy, and peace were poured over the building’s cornerstone. Today the hourly chiming of the bells in the majestic bell tower serves as constant reminder of the enduring solidity of the university.”

The University of Montana was silent these days because the campus was in the process of making changes on the clock tower and roof. The University of Montana was able to fund $1.4 million state and university funds to renovate the clock tower and roof . The renovations includes masonry repairs and construct a web of iron structure inside the tower. “The goal of the project is to make changes while maintaining the legendary look of the University’s cornerstone. UM architect and project manager Jerry Ballas said this is the first major reconstruction project on the building’s exterior.”