Old Morrison

Historical Marker #1406 in Fayette County commemorates Old Morrison, a National Historic Landmark located on the campus of Transylvania University.

Morrison Hall was erected to replace the university's previous administration building, which was destroyed by fire in 1829. Under the direction of Transylvania trustee and teacher Henry Clay, Kentucky architect Gideon Shryock was commissioned to design the new building. Known for designing Kentucky's Old State Capitol building in 1827, Shryock was a master of Greek Revival architecture, a feature which contributes to the renown of Morrison Hall.

Dedicated in 1833, the building was not completed until 1834. A gift from Colonel James Morrison helped cover the building's approximately $31,000 price tag, and gave the building its name. Affectionately known as Old Morrison, the building has served many purposes on the Transylvania campus; it has been an administration building, academic building, and chapel. In the midst of Civil War, Morrison Hall served as a hospital and prison for both the Union and the Confederacy. Recognized as a National Historic Landmark in 1966, the building required extensive renovation after a fire destroyed much of the interior in 1969.

Transylvania University has educated many prominent figures since its founding in 1780 as the first college west of the Alleghany Mountains. Among the alumni are two U.S. vice presidents and numerous other political and social dignitaries.