5 Historical Landmarks on UGA's campus

The University of Georgia is the flagship institute of the state of Georgia. Since its founding in 1785 it has grown in size but also in historical relevance. Across the 15,967,395 gross square feet of UGA's Athens campus are buildings, statues, and other structures with a rich and historical story to tell. However, these next 5 are some of the most remarkable.

Perhaps the closest structure to the hearts of Georgia Bulldawgs is the arch located downtown. The arch serves as the University's primary symbol for recognition and is the focal point of North Campus. Students of the University seek to uphold and live by the mission statement of the school, which is based on three principles for every pillar of the arch: wisdom, justice, and moderation. The arch's date of construction falls between the years of 1856 and 1858 and since its creation it has served as a site for protests and vigils, memorial services, and thousands of photographs for tourists, university organizations, and graduates. It's original use was to be a part of an iron gate that previously secured north campus, however the gates mysteriously went missing in the 1880s. The legend attributes this disappearance to be the result of some sort of prank. The arch has seen the University at its best and its worse and the gorgeous monument is truly a site to see.

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Another historically rich site of tourism is the chapel. When the chapel was built in 1832, the university was largely affiliated with protestant orthodoxy. It was the center of campus activities and the site of daily, mandatory religious services for students. It’s bell, which was moved from the top of the chapel to a wooden tower at the back in 1913, was used to indicate the beginning and end of class, and to signal emergencies. The chapel is a symbol of the evolution of our college as it changed from being dominated by religion, to now being a more secular institution. Although its uses have changed, its traditional importance has not. The chapel and its bell remain well known and highly revered UGA landmarks. Today the chapel’s bell is rang to celebrate athletic accomplishments and other special occasions, as the chapel serves as a site for meetings, tourism events, and even weddings.

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The most visited tourist attraction at the Athens campus of the University of Georgia is Sanford Stadium. Sanford Stadium was built in its modern location in 1911. The 92,746 seat stadium is the seventh largest stadium in the NCAA and is the beacon of UGA pride. Sanford Stadium is a testament to the prowess of the UGA football team and a monument to UGA’s cultural center. The field is surrounded by large hedges which are comprised of privet, which not only act as an aesthetically pleasing feature, but also act as crowd control. In 2000, UGA beat Tennessee for the first time in twelve years which lead to the crowd rushing onto the field and tearing down one of the goal posts, making the privet hedges necessary. All of UGA’s deceased mascots are entombed in a mausoleum in the southwest corner of the stadium.

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A true testament to the heritage of UGA is Old College. Founded in 1806, Old College is the first and longest lasting building on campus. The preservation of Old College shows the lasting power of college culture and importance of traditions at UGA. Abraham Baldwin, the founder of UGA, modeled Old College after Connecticut Hall at Yale University, his alma mater. This building has served many as a classroom and dormitory since its creation, and it currently serves as an administration center. It was recently renovated in 2006 on its bicentennial birthday.

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Last but not least is a place that is rich with activities for the entire family to enjoy and open to non-students for a small fee.The Ramsey Student Center houses a swimming pool, racquetball courts, basket ball courts, multiple workout studios, various assortments of exercise equipment, an indoor track and more, to cater to students, faculty and locals. On the other half of the building, classrooms and offices are located for professors and courses pertaining to kinesiology, education and health awareness. Therefore, earning it’s 1997 Sports Illustrated title, naming it as the best recreational facility in the country. The center gains interest from all students as it houses collegiate athletes(volleyball and swimming), the organization of club sports and outdoor recreation activities, such as hiking. Ramsey shows collegiate interests in maintaining healthy exercise and an intrest in health awareness. The most popular weeks are the being of each semester(Fall and Spring) in which the center offers various classes for free all week.

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As you can see the University has a lot of history to offer to all of its students and visitors. If you have not already basked in the glorious legacy of this fine institution, I strongly encourage you to do so. Visit these places and go on a campus tour to learn about the other great amenities in the city of Athens!