This red-roofed, castle-like landmark was Texas State’s first building and the only structure on campus until 1908. The building originally had a silver metal roof which, over time, oxidized and appeared dark. The red shingles were added after 1944 and soon changed again to red tiles to match the Spanish Colonial building style.
The building opened in time for the first classes in fall 1903. As other buildings were added, Old Main served as Texas State’s administration building. Old Main now houses the College of Fine Arts and Communication and the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
Old Main has undergone many renovations. Originally, most of the second floor was a large auditorium/chapel, with an ornately carved and filigreed cathedral ceiling. With a stage at one end and a balcony at the other, this is where general assemblies, plays and presentations were held. The auditorium was subdivided into smaller rooms in the 1972 renovation, and in 1985, a floor was added at the balcony level. However, the remnants of the ornate ceiling are still visible on the third floor. An extensive restoration in 1993-94 returned the famous roof to its original style and color.