Kirkland Hall, one of the first structures built when Vanderbilt University was established in 1873, was originally known as Old Main. As this image of the grounds depicts, it was a prominent marker on the landscape west of Nashville. It was also the center of life and education at Vanderbilt and on April 20, 1905 fire broke out, eventually gutting most of the building. Braving the fire as it raged through the building, students tossed books out the windows to others below, eventually saving nearly 4,000 books. The building was rebuilt as it stands today, minus one tower and the top floor. After the death in 1939 of Chancellor James Kirkland, who led Vanderbilt from 1893 until 1937, the building was renamed Kirkland Hall in his honor.