Opened in 1873, the Hall of Languages is Syracuse University’s oldest building and stood as its sole structure for 14 years. Constructed under the tenure of SU’s first Chancellor, Alexander Winchell, the Hall of Languages was built of Onondaga limestone in the then-popular Second Empire style for $136,000. Originally, there were to be six more buildings erected in the same style, including the Hall of Science, the Hall of Philosophy, and the Hall of History. A harsh economic recession ended those plans, however, leaving the Hall of Languages as the sole monument to the University’s earliest campus plan.
Home of The College of Arts and Sciences, the building was renovated in 1978, but retained its elegant exterior architecture. The Hall of Languages now provides classrooms that can accommodate 2,235 students and offices for many departments, including English and textual studies, philosophy, and religion.