South Bend, IN Notre Dame University Main Building Fire, Apr 1879
The original Main Building [at Notre Dame University] was replaced by a larger "Main Building" in 1865, which housed the university's administration, classrooms, and dormitories. Beginning in 1873, a library collection was started by Father Lemonnier, housed in the Main Building, and by 1879 it had grown to ten thousand volumes.
This Main Building, and the library collection, was entirely destroyed by a fire in April 1879; school closed immediately and students were sent home.
The university founder, Fr. Sorin, and the president at the time, the Rev. William Corby, immediately planned for the rebuilding of the structure that had housed virtually the entire University. Construction was started on May 17, and by the incredible zeal of administrator and workers the building was completed before the fall semester of 1879. The library collection was also rebuilt and stayed housed in the new Main Building for years afterwards.
Photo above from the University of Notre Dame Archives