This granite structure was the grand entrance to the Normal School in the days when students and visitors arrived on foot from the railroad depot at the other end of College Avenue or from their residences.
Soon after the 1896
Normal School building burned down in 1912, students and the members of the
Alumni Association came up with the idea to create a memorial to their beloved
school using the granite stones from the old foundation. By 1914, they had raised
over $1,200, and they hired builder, O.L. Hoof of Spokane to create the
entrance. The workmen finished the pillars in time for the May 1915 dedication
of the new Normal School administration building.
At times the
entrance gate has been called the Gates of Knowledge, the Pillars of Hercules, and finally, the Herculean
Pillars. They still serve as the symbolic entrance to the university.
stones from the 1896 school were also purchased by the Women's Relief Corps for
the base of the veterans memorial that stands a block east in Veterans Park.