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Folwell Hall was built in 1906-07 to replace Old Main, which had been destroyed in a 1904 fire. Constructed during Cyrus Northrup's term as the university's second president, the building was originally designated as Northrup Hall, but a storm of protest from students, alumni, newspapers and the general public led to it being renamed Folwell Hall, after the University's first president, William W. Folwell.