State Normal School, Geneseo NY

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Normal School back.jpg

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State Normal School, Geneseo NY


Hand-colored photograph shows "Old Main," built in 1871 to house the new Geneseo Normal and Training School. Since 1826 the town had been known for its highly regarded Temple Hill Academy, but a rift within the Presbyterian Church threatened its funding. An authorization by the New York State legislature, in 1866, for chartering four new normal schools therefore prompted efforts to locate one of them in Geneseo. Political opposition and inadequate funding thwarted the first attempt; however, support by Craig W. Wadsworth helped facilitate approval in 1869. The school opened two years later with William J. Milne as its principal, overseeing thirteen teachers and 354 students.

The institution had a program for elementary grades and an "Academic" program for adolescents. In 1905, changes to teacher certification--including a required four years of high school for admission--were reflected in the new designation of State Normal School. In 1948 the (now) college was integrated into the new State University of New York system. Old Main was demolished three years later as part of an extensive building plan, its location now encompassing Welles, Wadsworth, and Erwin Halls.


Clancy's Yellow Front, Geneseo NY
Albertype Co.




Cooper, Ken


Courtesy of Ken Cooper


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Still Image Item Type Metadata

Original Format


Physical Dimensions

3.5 x 5 in.