The 16-sided Nott Memorial, one of America's most dramatic High 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.
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.