Old Main, Augustana College

Also known as: Memorial Hall
7th Ave. between 35th and 38th Sts., Rock Island, Illinois

A dolomite-clad building in the Renaissance Revival style from the 19th Century


North (Front) Face

Old Main recently underwent a 3 year, $13 million restoration.

Photo taken by J.R. Manning in June 2013




The Renaissance Revival style building was designed by L.G. Hallberg of Chicago and E.S. Hammatt of Davenport. The building's design replicates a similar building at the University of Uppsala in Sweden, which was the alma mater of many of Augustana’s early faculty. The building in Uppsala did not have a dome, this uniquely American accent was added instead of the crenellated tower on the original.

The building underwent a $13 million dollar renovation between 2010-2013 which included modernization, such as WiFi. The dolomite stone, quarried near LeClaire, was washed and tuckpointed. The stone came from the same quarry as was used on the buildings at the Rock Island Arsenal.

The dome's roof was covered with copper, pre-weathered with a bluish tint. (Copper roofs used to turn green with age as a result of sulfur dioxide emissions from coal plants. With the scrubbers on coal plants these days, the emissions are very clean, and copper just ages to a dull brown.)

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on September 11, 1975
Reference number
Areas of significance
Education; Ethnic Heritage - European; Architecture
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic function
Current function
Period of significance
Significant years
1884; 1893

Update Log 

  • June 22, 2013: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated Status, Added Description and Added Photos