GT ID Number:

T171 .G42 G49x 1899-1903

Academic Building


Sketch of the Academic Building, in the Georgia School of Technology Announcement ca. 1888. The sketch appears before a section titled, "Georgia School of Technology: Organization."

The Academic Building, completed in 1888, was designed by the prestigious Atlanta architectural firm, Bruce and Morgan and constructed by contractor Angus McGilvray, for a total cost of $43,250 in state funds. The Academic Building was one of two buildings comprising the Georgia Tech campus in October 1888 when the Georgia School of Technology first opened its doors. The Academic Building was considered "the major academic building of early Georgia Tech" and was used for both teaching and administration until 1959, when it became exclusively an administration building. The Academic Building, like the Shop Building was designed in "High Victorian" style according to the principles of Ruskin. They were built of Chattahoochee brick, machine pressed brick, and Georgia marble and granite and thus serve as monuments to the "fledgling industrial South." According to Warren Drury, in his 1984 M.A. Thesis, "The Architectural History of Georgia Tech," the two buildings "personify in masonry the educational concepts which informed the very establishment of Georgia Tech, a division of hand and brain which envisioned as of equal importance, the intellectual and practical pursuits of an educated person." The towers on each building symbolize the two parts of the educated man. Drury further states that "the justaposition of art and technics can be seen in the [Academic] Building, which contrasts molded brick ornament with smooth human-made brick and the rugged artisian granite column capital in the center of the porch with the smooth, shiny machine-finished marble column." The building is described in the Georgia School of Technology Announcements of that time as: "a splendid edifice of brick, trimmed with granite and terra cotta, slate roof. It has one hundred and thirty feet front, is one hundred and twenty deep and is four stories high above basement story. It contains ample accomodations in halls, offices, apparatus rooms, recitation and lecture rooms, free hand and mechanical drawing rooms, library and chapel."