Rebuilding The Administration Bulding

After catastrophic fire of Jan'03, the ultimate decision on rebuilding the Academy rested on the shoulders of A.M. Jackson. Following the 1903 fire Col. Jackson briefly entertained the idea of accepting invitations to move the school out of the area but the support of Alton’s community leaders and bankers won him over. When he announced his intention of rebuilding on the same site an Alton newspaper expressed the areas sentiments.
“The final decision of the owners of the WMA to rebuild in Alton is most gratifying to the residents of Alton. We want the school to remain with us; we could not afford to lose it, and the appreciation is keen that now we care still to retain the magnificent educational institution. The sound of the hammer and the voice of workmen will soon supplant the lonely quietude of the ruins of the WMA and new greater buildings will again mark the place of this old school.”
The effort to rebuild was a race against time. Jackson made the decision early on that the best way to insure construction would be completed in time to open the academy in the fall was to lump the bids for four new buildings and hire the experienced architect F.C. Bonsak to plan the new campus. The Administration building was constructed of broken Ashland stonework up to the 1st story windowsills. The remainder of the structure was north Alton paving bricks trimmed in Bedford Stone. It was constructed in an English style. Some of the materials used, including the complete fireproofing, were considered revolutionary in the construction business in those days.

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