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Hall of Languages' Sesquicentennial Scrapbook

Hall of Languages at night.

Happy birthday to me!

I was formally introduced to the world at my dedication on May 8, 1873, and have been a VIP in students' lives ever since. At 150 years old, I'm campus's one and only grandfluencer! Let's celebrate with this scrapbook of highlights from my life*.

Do you have any special photos of me? Email them to My people may share them on social media or this website.

VIntage Hall of Languages image with frame border.

Hello, world! Here I am, a brand-new baby building in 1873. See how I only have the two towers? My middle one didn't come in till 1886.

Rendering of the Hall of Languages.

Before I was born, architects drew up this nice portrait of me. I was designed by Horatio Nelson White in the Second Empire style—one of New York State’s most prominent architects between 1865-1880. Only the best for me!

Hall of Langauges cornerstone.

This cornerstone was laid in 1871 and I arrived two years later. You can't rush quality!

Gridley building exterior.

I bear a striking resemblance to my relative, the Gridley Building (pictured above), who lives in downtown Syracuse. Other prominent relatives include Syracuse’s Plymouth Congregational church (b. 1858) and the third Onondaga County courthouse (1858-1968).

Syracuse University campus image from 1889.

Finally! After 14 years as an only child, I get some siblings. First, Holden, who you can't see in this photo, then Tolley and Crouse. We all have our own distinct looks and personalities, but our family ties are strong (and orange!).

Students on the steps of the Hall of Languages in the 1930s.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. My front steps are still a busy crossroads, just like in this 1930s scene.

Students studying on the Hall of Languages steps.

I cherish my role as a backdrop to students’ lives across the decades, and hope I provide them with a sense of comfort, pride and resilience.

Addams family title card wiki with border.

People say this is my doppelganger, but I prefer to think of myself as more stately than spooky!

Hall of Languages Registry plaque.

Actually famous--What a great gift when I turned 100!

Students driving in a car.

I had to plug my ears that day, when boisterous students led a lively pep rally in 1958!

Otto the Orange mascot.

Here's a photo of my good friend, Otto, around the time we first met in 1980.

Otto the Orange mascot.

This is a more recent photo of us together. Otto stops by to visit me often.

Students lounging on Hall of Languages lawn.

When I'm not hanging with Otto, I love taking in some rays with students.

Graduating students sitting in front of the Hall of Languages.

My favorite birthday gift every year. Chatting with graduates, hearing their plans, and giving them a bit of advice before they leave the nest: "Come back and visit me often! Bring your families, too. I'll always be happy to see you!"

*We hope you enjoyed this humorous celebration of the Grande Dame of campus, our iconic Hall of Languages! If you're looking for more history, you can check out the Hall of Languages at 150 Alumni Academy video, the A&S commemorative magazine and the A&S timeline.

Archival photos courtesy of the Special Collections Research Center.

Hall of Languages orange graphic.