Phase I, Historic Walk
Your historic tour begins with noted items of interest within the Westcott Building and then moves outward to the front steps facing College Avenue to the east.
Constructed in 1910 as the Administration Building for the Florida State College of Women, and renamed in 1936 as the James D. Westcott Memorial Building in honor of the Florida jurist who bequeathed his entire estate to the Florida State College in 1887, the Westcott Building serves as the architectural centerpiece of the Florida State University campus and houses the university’s central administrative offices, including the Offices of the President and Provost. It is the oldest site of continuous higher education in Florida. Although heavily damaged by fire in 1969, Westcott has endured as an iconic symbol of FSU, welcoming decades of visitors and students from its inspiring location at the apex of College Avenue and Copeland Street. It is also home to Ruby Diamond Concert Hall, named for Ms. Ruby Diamond, a 1905 Florida State College alumna and benefactor. In 2008, Ruby Diamond Concert Hall underwent a two-year renovation and re-opened in 2010 following a 38-million dollar construction project that completely transformed the facility into a superb 1260-seat music performance space with new dressing rooms, production and rehearsal space, and a state-of-the-art acoustics network. The renovation also created space for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Lobby, which serves to welcome visitors and provide performance entertainment space.
Take a few steps up the lobby staircase and you will find two heavy bronze doors encased in glass – they originally stood as the entryway and were a gift from the 1925, 1927, and 1931 classes. On either side of the doors is a hallway gallery of presidential portraits. Each of these works of art depicts the unique qualities of the fine presidents whose leadership and vision have helped to establish this higher education institution as a place of prominence and promise.
As you descend the exterior steps of the Westcott Building look to your right toward the three flags. At the bottom of the flagpoles rest three seals of interest.