Old Main Building, constructed in 1871, served as the principal dormitory and classroom facility for the West Chester Teacher's Normal School. In 1971, faced with prohibitive costs of a facility upgrade, Old Main was torn down by the PA Dept of General Services, despite strong objections from the University and local community.
As part of the University's centennial celebration in 1971, a committee, headed by Dr. Constantine Johns, Professor of Music, and Dr. Russell Sturzebecker, Professor of Health and Physical Education, was formed to honor this historic building by reassembling part of its original components.
The building's stone entranceway arch and marble steps were recovered and reused in this memorial structure, constructed in 1997. The Old Main arch stands once again, as a gateway to the University's quad and a reminder of WCU's heritage.
Gifts from the centennial committee, the class of 1941, the class of 2005, and a presidential initiatives grant enabled this memorial.