In 1891, plans were announced for the complete reconstruction and expansion of the Ladies Building (North Hall). At the time, North Hall was 150 feet in length and four stories in height. The plans called for it to become 270 feet in length by 700 feet wide, and five stories high. The building was to be heated by steam, and an elevator installed in the central portion of the building.
The new North hall included an elegant dining room, finished in oak, large enough to serve five hundred students. In addition, there was space for a kitchen, a bakery, a reception room, dormitories for the ladies, an infirmary, and suites of rooms for the Art Department and the Normal School of Music.
Source: Life at Mansfield: A Visual Reminiscence, p. 27
MSC Professor Pickets New Student Union
"I feel that this is an identity crisis of the shcool...they are taking away the tradition of the campus." Strong words? Yes. Sentiments? Stronger yet. Professor Sanford Chilcote of the MSC English Department is very adamant concerning the construction of the new student union center which is being built directly in front of North Hall, the former location of the Mountie Steps. On last Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday Chilcote took it upon himself to let the administration know his strong feelings.
When asked why he decided to picket he had a quick reply "This (the area) is an object of symbolism, they are desecrating the people, the past."
Chilcote has hopes of seeing stronger protests. He hopes students will organize and "...sit in the trees, and refuse to move. If the past has no value...they've missed something." Chilcote feels that there are many other places for the building. He spoke of the state's eminent domain, he feels they could have moved the building downtown. He said that the present location definitely shows a "lack of taste."
Apparently Professor Chilcote does not think it is too late. He said, "Nobody is doing anything. If it's in your dreams you have to do something. I always have hopes. This is as bad as Harvard tearing up the commune, or Congress tearing up the White House. It is very analagous."
"The past is reflected here. This section is symbolic of the campus, the people who built it did it to last--it is being desecrated."
Source: Life at Mansfield: A Visual Reminiscence, p. 188
Originally: Flashlight, March 26, 1969
As described in The Normal Quarterly (January, 1898): "Three times each day, at 7:00 a.m., 12:15 p.m. and 6:00 p.m., the spacious dining hall is filled with students and teachers, and at such times, a picture is presented full of animation and interest. Finished in oak, the dining room is architecturally of the Ionic order, the gilded capital blending harmoniously with the rich tints of the walls. One hundred and twelve incandescent lights furnish brilliant illumination. The school is justly proud of the room and confidently asserts that its equal is not to be found in any other educational institution in the state."
Source: Life at Mansfield: A Visual Reminiscence, p. 36
According to a legend, at one time, a lovely music student was sitting on the rail of the well on the uppermost floor of North Hall. Inspired, she began singing the Alma Mater with such beauty that all of the girls living there immediately stopped what they were doing and went to listen to her in awe. In their presence, the young lady sang with even greater enchantment. But, soon she reached a point of such emotion that she slipped and fell into the well. Of course, upon seeing her fall, the students screamed with horror, but, the young lady did not. In fact, as she fell, she continued to sing the Alma Mater. In fact, for the few moments, it could be heard above the screams. It is said that the young lady was the most beautiful woman ever to appear on the Mansfield campus and that her spirit still seeks the hearts of Mansfield music students. It is also said that if one looks closely at the floor of the well one can find the imprint of her body. It moves in the rhythm of the Alma Mater .
Source: Life at Mansfield: A Visual Reminiscence, p. 119
Note: With the university seal now at the base of the atrium, it is highly unlikely that you will ever see Sara's imprint. However, legend has it that you might catch a glimpse of Sara's ghost coursing through the atrium late at night.