Grand reopening of Old Main
The public is invited to attend the Grand Re-opening of Freed-Hardeman University’s Old Main Friday, Nov. 8, at 2 p.m. on the front lawn of the building located at 158 East Main in Henderson. The event coincides with Homecoming and Founders’ Day and is a part of the observation of FHU’s 150th year.
Brad Bradshaw, great-grandson of N.B. Hardeman, will represent the Hardeman family at the event. Tours of the building and refreshments will follow the ceremony. Erin Adams, former FHU archivist and now director of education at Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage in Nashville, will present the Founders’ Day program at 3 p.m. in Room 113 of Old Main. She will provide additional information about the iconic building. An FHU alumna, she worked on the nomination of Old Main for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. Chester County’s oldest public building, it was added to the National Register in 2012.
Hardeman and A.G. Freed joined forces Nov. 7, 1907, to break ground for what would become National Teachers Normal and Business College.
The cornerstone was laid Nov. 30, 1907, in a separate ceremony. Local craftsmen using local materials constructed the building designed by well-known architect Hubert T. McGee, a native of Jacks Creek and an alumnus of Georgie Robertson Christian College.
The building was restored in 2018-2019 at a cost of approximately $5.5 million contributed by donors interested in its preservation. Exterior and common areas of the building, including the lobbies, stairway, hallways and Chapel Hall have been restored to their original condition. However, since Old Main remains an academic facility, classrooms and offices have been equipped with current technology and teaching tools.
In the event of inclement weather, the rededication will move to Chapel Hall.