Nashville, TN University Fire, Apr 1905

Nashville TN Vanderbilt University Furman Hall.jpg



Special to The New York Times.
Nashville, Tenn., April 20. -- The main building of Vanderbilt University, the leading educational institution of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, was destroyed today by fire, the loss being estimated at $200,000.
Shortly before noon, while 300 students were engaged in class work, smoke was observed issuing from the fourth story of the structure, and, the alarm being given, the classes were hastily dismissed. The students saved everything possible in the chapel and library, and succeeded in removing pictures of Commodore Vanderbilt and other members of the Vanderbilt family, together with those of various people prominently connected with the university in the past. A portrait of Mrs. Vanderbilt, however, was destroyed.
Owing to an inadequate water supply and a strong wind the structure could not be saved. Flying sparks ignited several small residences and stables on Hayes and Church Streets, several blocks away, and these burned despite the efforts of the firemen. The origin of the flames in the university is not known.
Vanderbilt University was founded in 1875 by Commodore Vanderbilt, whose contributions were supplemented by others from various members of the Vanderbilt family. The university has an endowment of $1,250,000. The main building will be rebuilt as speedily as possible.

The New York Times New York 1905-04-21