Old Sem (1853)Cornell's oldest academic building has seen a lot of action in its time. It WAS Cornell College when it was built because it was the school's only building. The simple rectangular building first held faculty offices, student rooms, the library, the school's classrooms and was living space for some faculty members.
After just 30 years it needed extensive renovations, earning the building its nickname, "Old Sem." In 1892, when the building was the Chemistry and Physics Building, a mansard roof was tacked on to create art studios on the fourth floor. After a fire in 1924 burned the building down to masonry walls, Old Sem was rebuilt in its original style.