The Old Main project is taking visitors inside the university's first structure. (photo courtesy oldmain.ilstu.edu)
By Zach Dietmeier
NORMAL - A project dedicated to telling the story of the Old Main building at Illinois State University has a new website.
ISU's first building has a new page dedicated to its history. Cultural anthropologist Gina Hunter is a co-director of the Old Main Project and said it was time to transition the site.
"We realized when we started the project that we put up the website and the focus was the project itself," Hunter said. "As we had students who came up with new ideas for what they want to work on we didn't have space to put them on."
The new site is a way to get community members involved in telling the story with excavated artifacts, oral histories, and historical documents.
"Our goal is just to keep the history of Old Main alive," Hunter said. "It's something that we continue to work on and study. It's a great way to get new students involved and have them develop a sense of the history of the campus."
Hunter said the sociological and anthropological outreach helped by the new site is drawing new attention. More feedback and memories are being brought to the project by alumni. The website shares stories, pictures, and a timeline of the building.
One update includes a 3-D rendering of the inside of the university's first building. Construction was finished in 1859 and the structure stood for 98 years until it was demolished due to deterioration.