Old West, initially known as New College, was in the process of being built into what college historians believe was a square, red-brick building when it was destroyed by fire in 1803. The college trustees appealed to Benjamin Latrobe, architect of the U.S. Capitol, for help in designing a new building. He agreed and designed the new Old West free of charge. At the recommendation of Latrobe, the colonial college officials chose to use locally quarried limestone, which has become a hallmark of structures on the historic campus. With donations from Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Aaron Burr and other figures, Old West was reconstructed and the cornerstone was placed on August 8, 1803. The building hosted its first classes in 1805. In 1963 it was designated as a Registered National Historic Landmark, and it now serves as the home of administrative offices and classrooms, while continuing to be the center of Dickinson's campus.