The Oneonta State Normal School, fondly known as “Old Main” in later years, was first built in 1889. The construction began in July of 1888 and was finished by September 4, 1889 when it was dedicated as the Oneonta State Normal School. On February 15, 1894, less than five years later, the building was destroyed by a fire. The fire spread from a storage room adjoining the furnace room and quickly consumed the entire structure. The school was rebuilt in that same year under the leadership of Dr. James M. Milne. The second Old Main was built slightly larger than the original. It was in use until the early 1970s. With the new campus, the building was no longer being used for classes. The college couldn’t maintain the building and it was offered to the city of Oneonta. The city did not have a use for it and it was put up for sale. It was sold twice and both times the owners intended to turn the building into apartments, but the plans were not possible. The building was demolished in 1977.
Scope of Collection
This collection contains historical information about the Oneonta Normal School, also known as Old Main. Included in this collection are newspaper articles (1894 - 1987), photographs (1889 - 1977), and memorabilia items (1889-1984) related to the school.