Administration Building (Main Building), 1879

Main Building, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN 46556 (South Bend)

Architect/Designer: Willoughby Edbrooke


Notre Dame’s Main Building is a complex combination of styles, with its gothic window treatments, renaissance revival dome and mansard roof. The building is laid out in an exaggerated t formation with four and half stories. Its countless angles, corners and jutting masonry give the building a great depth along with the numerous gables and turrets that create the irregular roof line. The golden dome, which has become a symbol of the university, is the focal point of the entire structure. Rising two stories, the dome features renaissance style window treatments and classical pediments with dentals. Above the dome is a statue of the university’s name sake, “our mother”, the Virgin Mary.

Significance Statement – including special status and awards won:

The Administration Building, often affectionately called the golden dome, has become the crowning jewel of Notre Dame. An icon of educational and architectural progress, the Administration Building has housed nearly every need of the university from classrooms and dormitories to administration.

Designation status:

National Register of Historic Places, University of Notre Dame Historic District 1978

Style: Collegiate Gothic, Renaissance Revival

Owner (past/present): University of Notre Dame

Materials: Brick, stone

Additions and/or changes with date: 1882 Golden dome added

Historic use/current use:

Past: Education, class space

Current: Education administration

Is building open to the public?: Yes

Condition: Excellent

Website and/or sources of information:

Building website:


Research Sources:

Hope, Arthur. Notre Dame, One Hundred Years. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1999.

National Register of Historic Places, University of Notre Dame Historic District, Notre Dame, St. Joseph, Indiana, 1978.