Old North at Georgetown University, as viewed from the south side
Georgetown College (1789-1815)
The land on which Old North sits was purchased in 1793 and work on the building’s exterior was completed by 1795. Finding money to pay for the construction work was difficult for an institution that was struggling financially. Records in the University Archives even show that, at one point, building expenses were paid in beef rather than cash. In light of this, it is perhaps not surprising that there was no money immediately available to fund significant work on the building’s interior. By 1809, when Fr. William Matthews became president, only the third floor was completed and in regular use. When an anonymous gift of $400 to help finish the interior was received, Fr. Matthews, who was known for his concern over the appearance of the campus, went to work on the building, mixing mortar at the side of the hired plasterer.
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