From the jeers at every sporting event to the sheets draped on the Greek life houses, it’s clear how Purdue students feel about Indiana University.

Less publicized is the architectural camaraderie the two schools share. Purdue’s campus buildings are almost all constructed mainly from red brick, while IU’s are constructed almost entirely from limestone.

There are a few buildings on each campus that disrupt that pattern, though. Purdue has four buildings made primarily from limestone, and according to a webpage from IU, its campus has two buildings made from brick.

This fact may come as no surprise to those who have taken campus tours at either university, as it’s a common talking point. Whether intentional or not, these architectural exceptions “spark the flame” of the rivalry even more, said Jackson Karshen, a Purdue tour guide and a sophomore in the College of Science.

Nevertheless, there seems to be a lack of agreement between IU and the Purdue tour guide office about which buildings are actually the outliers at Purdue and how this phenomena came to be.

For instance, an excerpt from an IU campus tours webpage might confuse Purdue readers.

“Owen and Wylie Hall are the only predominantly red brick buildings on the main campus (of IU),” the page reads. “At Purdue University, buildings with the same names are the only limestone structures.” (At Purdue, though, Wylie Hall is spelled Wiley).

Many Boilermakers know Purdue’s Owen and Wiley Halls are both made from brick, with only limestone accents. Purdue’s limestone buildings are Rawls Hall, Young Hall, Felix Haas Hall and the Krannert School of Management.

IU Capital Planning Project Specialist, Beth Feickert, said the information on the website is out of date and no longer used for tours.

“That brochure, actually, is from 2013,” Feickert said. “The new one doesn’t have anything about Owen and (Wiley) in it at all, so I don’t know where that came from.”

Feikert went on to explain that the Owen Halls on both campuses share a history.

“Our Owen hall is named for the same person as (Purdue’s) Owen Hall,” Feickert said. “Richard Dale Owen was a professor here, and then he became (Purdue’s) first president.”

IU historian Jim Capshew confirmed this.

“The Owen Hall here is actually named after him, but also his brothers, who were also big scientists in Indiana,” Capshew said. “(Owen) was appointed president of Purdue for a few years. Then, he came back to the faculty at IU.”

Prospective students touring Purdue can expect to hear speculations about the buildings’ origins.

“(IU and Purdue) were both building new buildings at the same time,” Karshen said. “And the rumor is that the shipment of brick and limestone to build the new buildings got switched in the shipment, and that’s why there’s one brick building at IU and one limestone building here.”

Karshen and other members of the tour guide office said they weren’t sure which buildings on Purdue are limestone, or if there was only one.

Because of Indiana’s geography, it’s very unlikely this switch could have happened, Capshew said.

“It’s kind of silly, because basically, you guys are living in an area where bricks can be made, but you don’t have limestone deposits in the same town,” Capshew said. “With IU, we are in the middle of a limestone belt.”

The 24-year gap between when the buildings were finished also makes the accidental swap theory unlikely. The two brick buildings at IU were built in 1884, Feikert said. Meanwhile the oldest of the limestone buildings at Purdue, Felix Haas Hall, was built in 1908.

Nevertheless, this unmistakable link between campuses adds to the rivalry many students at both schools enjoy.

“Personally, I think the rivalry between the two schools is hilarious,” said Sandiya Sajan, a sophomore in IU’s College of Science. “I feel like rivalries like that just make college so much more fun.”

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