214 History of Wake Forest College
Only the lower floor is used for the general Library, but many
volumes seldom called for are stored in the attic. The second story
was cut up into classrooms and offices for the departments of Law
and Social Science. On the completion of the present Gymnasium in
1935 the department of Social Science was transferred to the old
gymnasium building, and its former classrooms and offices given
over to the department of Law. In 1934, the Literary Societies had
moved to their new rooms on the third story of the newly constructed
Wait Hall, and their former halls and the central portion of the second
story of the older structure were turned over to the department of
Law, and are now used to house the library of the School, and the
office of the dean.
The next important matters relating to the college buildings were
the fires of 1933 and 1934, the first of which, May 5, 1933, destroyed
the old College Building, to which the Trustees had given the name
Wait Hall, while the second, on February 14, 1934, laid Wingate
Memorial Hall in ashes.
Both fires occurred after midnight. That in the old College Building
started in the front of the second story and had involved the staircase
and much of the first and second stories when discovered. From this
portion only what was in the fireproof vault and safes was saved, but
this included the essential records of the institution from its earliest
days. The most serious loss was the correspondence of the presidents
which was of much historical and biographical interest. From the
dormitories in the wings, to which the fire spread slowly owing to the
structure of the building, the occupants were able to save nearly all of
their belongings. The fire was entirely beyond control when
discovered, and though the local fire department was assisted by
detachments from the fire departments of Raleigh and Louisburg all
that could be done was to retard the progress of the burning. In the
glare of the great fire which lighted up all the Campus throngs of
students, members of the faculty and town people looked on in
sadness as the majestic old structure burned out. Perhaps the greatest
emotion was aroused by the loss of the bell, the molten ruins of which
were found in the ashes the next day. Many
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