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Virtual Tour
  • 1813
    The central "round building" appears in Joseph Ramée plans for the new Union campus on Nistiquana Hill outside of Schenectady.
  • 1858
    Forty-five years after the first building goes up on the new campus construction begins on Alumni or Graduates' Hall, the early name for the Nott Memorial.
  • 1869
    Following the Civil War students stage a mock burial of the trustees for their failure to continue construction.
  • 1879
    Construction is officially completed, although the hall has no heating system and no plumbing facilities.
  • 1902
    Andrew Carnegie pledges $40,000 to renovate the building.
  • 1904
    One the centennial of Eliphalet Nott's inauguration as Union's president, the College dedicates the building in his honor. For nearly 60 years the building is the College library.
  • 1962-63
    Schaffer Library opens and the theater and College Bookstore move into the Nott Memorial.
  • 1993
    Work begins on the restoration of the Nott Memorial.
  • 1995
    The Nott Memorial, fully restored, is dedicated on February 25, 1995—the 200th anniversary of the founding of the College.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Mandeville Gallery, Wikoff Student Gallery
Exhibitions are held in the Nott Memorial and are free and open to the public

Wikipedia
The history of the Nott from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Public hours of operation:
10 a.m. - 6 p.m. daily, year round. Closed January 1, July 4, Thanksgiving and the following Friday, and December 24 and 25.

The Nott Memorial

The Nott Memorial


The sixteen-sided Nott Memorial, one of America's most dramatic Victorian buildings, is the centerpiece of the Union campus. The building is dedicated to Eliphalet Nott, president of Union College and major leader of American education, whose many innovations included a scientific curriculum and the first introduction of engineering at a liberal arts college.

Union College Campus

"There is nothing like it anywhere else in the world."

David McCullough,
Pulitzer-Prize winning historian

The Nott Memorial was conceived by President Nott in consultation with the French architect Joseph Ramée, who created the master plan for Union's campus. His plan included a circular building originally envisioned as an alumni hall. Construction finally began on the building in 1858, based on designs by Edward Tuckerman Potter, grandson of President Nott.

The Nott Memorial is 89 feet in diameter and capped with a ribbed dome. The dome is sprinkled with 709 small colored glass windows, or "illuminators." Girding the lower portion of the dome is a band of red slates bearing a modified inscription from the Talmud. In its simplest translation, the phrase says, "the day is short, the work is great, the reward is much, the Master is urgent.'

The Nott underwent extensive renovation from 1993-1995 in time for the College's 1995 bicentennial celebration. Improved climate control, audio systems, an elevator and better accessibility helped turn it into a magnificent space for conferences, lectures, exhibitions, and study.  Today, the Nott Memorial is a national historic landmark and a beloved symbol for Union College.