On August 24, 1989, Mead Hall -- the 1832 Greek Revival mansion that pre-dates the University in the Forest on this site-- caught fire. What started as a "reported small fire in the wall of Mead Hall" (History of the Madison Fire Department ) burned for 23 hours and took fire companies from 13 towns to quell. Faculty, students and staff gathered on the lawn, and looked on aghast. Librarian Bruce Lancaster remembers standing watch to see if nearby Rose Library would catch.
Undaunted by the loss of the roof, attic, and parts of the second story of the historic building, Drew University vowed to rebuild "This Great House - This Great Heart". The extensive restoration took a number of years, but the finished product is a stunning work of architectural art and history as well as a useful academic building. For more information, see the Website of the Friends of Mead Hall .