St. Edward's University Celebrates Centennial of Main Building

October 9, 2003

The South Austin skyline is anchored by a stately, castle-like building sitting high on a hilltop overlooking downtown. While many Austinites recognize the landmark on the St. Edward's campus, few realize that Main Building has stood in place for 100 years.

Originally constructed in 1888, Main Building was completely destroyed by a devastating fire that swept through the building on April 9, 1903. Only the building's two entrances and portions of its limestone walls remained when the flames were finally extinguished. University leaders quickly initiated reconstruction and by the fall of the same year, Main Building had risen again alongside a new facility, Holy Cross Hall, which then served as a dormitory for the university's expanding student body. Each of the new buildings incorporated one of the two original entrances that survived the fire, and these porticos are still in use.

Today, Main Building is a registered Texas Historic Landmark, and it, along with Holy Cross Hall and other historic buildings on campus, earned St. Edward's the distinction of National Historic Site on March 16, 1973.

On Tuesday, Oct. 14, St. Edward's will celebrate the 100th birthday of Main Building and Holy Cross Hall. Following a short program led by university President George E. Martin, Ph.D., guests are invited to enjoy historical tours, a special art exhibit and refreshments.

  • Who: St. Edward's students, faculty, staff, alumni, donors and friends
  • What: Main Building Centennial Celebration, includes a short program, historical tours, a special art exhibit and refreshments
  • When: 5–7 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 14
  • Where: Main Building, front stepsCampus
    Maps available online at:

Founded by the Congregation of Holy Cross, St. Edward's University has been named as one of America's Best Colleges for 2004 by U.S. News & World Report. St. Edward's is a private Catholic, liberal arts university of approximately 4,450 students located in Austin, Texas.