Whether your trip to the Classic City involves visiting a student or not, it’s hard to avoid the University of Georgia’s campus. UGA’s 465 buildings and 762 acres offer much to explore, so if you have a free hour or two, follow this guided walking tour through UGA’s North Campus. And don’t forget your mask!

We recommend you start at the intersection of Broad Street and College Avenue. As you face South, you’ll see the expansive North Campus lawn in between campus buildings and under large oak trees. 

The Arch

Be sure to walk under or around UGA’s historic Arch to access North Campus — it’s hard to miss with its cast-iron structure and three pillars. 

  • Each pillar represents one of UGA’s founding principles: wisdom, justice and moderation.
  • It’s believed if an undergraduate walks beneath the Arch, they will not graduate. Beware, freshmen!
  • The Arch initially served as a gate between North Campus and Broad Street to keep cattle from grazing on the college lawn.

Holmes-Hunter Academic Building

The large, ornate columned building on your right will be hard to miss. It currently houses the office of the registrar. 

  • This building was renamed in 2001 in honor of Hamilton Holmes and Charlayne Hunter, who integrated UGA in 1961.
  • The building actually incorporates two older buildings from the 1800s.
  • In 2012, restoration work included replicating the historic columns using a mix of high-tech polycarbonate and traditional stucco.

Dueling Debaters

As you walk past Holmes-Hunter and onto the lawn, pause for a moment when reaching Demosthenian Hall. Directly across the quad is Phi Kappa Hall. Founded in the 19th century, these buildings have hosted a centuries-old rivalry between debate societies.

  • The societies typically host an annual debate, but an inter-society dispute led the two organizations to cancel their 2019 competition. It was the first time in 28 years the event was canceled.
  • Demosthenian Hall is supposedly haunted by the ghost of the infamous Robert Toombs, a UGA student from the 19th century who was expelled from the university.

The Chapel and Chapel Bell

After pausing to appreciate the history between the facing halls, continue walking until you reach the UGA Chapel — it’s hard to miss with its striking painted-white exterior and its six Doric columns. You can also walk behind the Chapel to the Chapel Bell. Students today ring the Chapel Bell after a victory, such as a football game or acing an exam.

  • Built in 1832, the Chapel was once the center of campus activities.
  • During the Civil War, the Chapel served as a hospital.
  • The Chapel Bell used to ring to mark emergencies and class periods.
  • A painting of the interior of Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome hangs inside of the building.
  • The bell used to sit in a tower on top of the building, but in 1913 it was relocated behind the Chapel because wood rot damaged the tower.

Moore College

After you’ve gone around to take a peek at the Chapel Bell, walk down steps on either side and walk toward the large, graceful building on your right. Moore College currently houses UGA’s Honors College.

  • Built from 1874 to 1876, Moore College was named after Dr. Richard D. Moore, who was instrumental in persuading Athens to give funds for the building’s construction. 
  • The building is UGA’s sole example of Second Empire architecture, characterized by the mansard roof.

Herty Field

The large expanse of grass and large fountain next to Moore College is Herty Field. Jumping barefoot in the fountain is a UGA tradition, and both the fountain and the field are popular backdrops for wedding and graduation photos.

  • Georgia played its first intercollegiate football game on Herty Field in 1892. Georgia beat Mercer University 50-0.
  • Home games were played on Herty Field until 1911.
  • The field also was used for other sports, such as baseball.

Terrell Hall

Go ahead and make your way back near the UGA Chapel. Walk across the lawn to a large, red brick building on the opposite side of the North Campus quad. Terrell Hall currently houses the offices of undergraduate admissions.

  • Terrell Hall was built in 1903 to replace a building which had burned down.

Old College

If you continue walking, you’ll soon be face-to-face with UGA’s oldest remaining structure. Just look for the statue of UGA’s founder Abraham Baldwin in front of the building.

  • Old College was built in 1806.
  • The building has housed classrooms, a dormitory, dining facilities and even a World War II training program for the U.S. Navy.

Main Library

UGA’s Main Library has seven floors filled with primary sources and scholarly works. With many study spaces, students can be found here at every hour it’s open.

  • From the top floor, you have a great view of campus and the surrounding countryside.

Jackson Street Cemetery

Across the street, you will find the Jackson Street Cemetery. In 2009, the cemetery was added to the National Register of Historic Places. 

  • The cemetery contains 800 grave spaces that include two former UGA presidents.
  • Renovations in 2015 at nearby Baldwin Hall revealed an additional 105 grave spaces. Remains of possible slaves or former slaves were found during the renovations. Since the discovery, UGA commemorated those Athenians and other enslaved individuals with the Baldwin Hall Memorial on campus.

This article originally was published in The Red & Black's fall 2020 Visitors Guide special publication.

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