Old Main: Fire and Rehabilitation

Old Main on Fire, 1983
The north wing of Old Main in flames, December 19, 1983
(Utah State University, Merrill-Cazier Library, Special Collections & Archives, USU Historical Photo-board Collection, photo no. USU-A1622a)

The disastrous fire of December 19, 1983, required the extensive renovation of Old Main. The fire began in the attic of the north wing, and thanks to the quick action of local firefighters, it did not spread to the rest of the building. Water damage, however, decimated the northern section. Renovation plans called for gutting the fire-damaged portions and remodeling Old Main’s entire interior. In order to maximize space, the university decided to restore Old Main’s historic exterior, but modernize the interior to increase the number of classrooms and offices. Like a phoenix from the ashes, Old Main rose to continue as USU’s flagship building.

For more photographs of the Old Main fire and subsequent rehabilitation, explore the Utah State University Historical Photo Collection