In 1859, the original Samford Hall was constructed as a main building for the East Alabama Male College. It was a four story structure, Italianate in design, and was erected at a cost of $111,000. It was affectionately known as "Old Main."
School was suspended in 1862 due to the Civil War and the building was used as a hospital until classes resumed in 1866. On June 24, 1887, Old Main burned. It was rebuilt in 1888 from plans by Bruce and Morgan, architects, with James Smith as the contractor. A ceremony was held the first day of construction with Charles B. Glenn, at the age of eight, laying the first brick.
Samford Hall was officially named for Governor William James Samford in May, 1929. Through the years, the interior of this building has been renovated many times to meet the changes of a growing college. Samford Hall originally had a bell that rang every hour for classes, and although the bell still remains in the tower, an electrically controlled clock marks the time now.
Today Samford Hall serves as the university's administrative headquarters.