Old Main at Knox College


Nowhere on the Knox campus are the history and the ideals of the College so intertwined with the modern-day work of faculty and students as in Old Main.

An American architectural landmark of the first order, Old Main's history is still very much alive in its offices, classrooms, and public spaces.

Old Main is the only existing site of one of the famous 1858 senatorial debates between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas and has been designated a National Historic Landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior. It was through one of its east-facing windows that the future President of the United States climbed to reach the debate platform, where he is said to have quipped "At last I have gone through college." The very chair where Lincoln sat that day, the aptly named "Lincoln Chair," still sits in Old Main's Alumni Room to this day.

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