Old Main is the predominant face of Washington & Jefferson College and has been the heart of the institution for nearly two centuries. The two identical towers represent the union of Washington College and Jefferson College in 1865 with the intention of forming a new and improved institution: Washington & Jefferson College. Construction of the building began around 1834, and was later finalized in 1875 with its recognizable towers that were similar in style to the French Second Empire architecture. The construction is filled with history, as along with the two towers, there was a fourth floor added to the structure that gave way to 12 additional classrooms along with new offices for professors. After WWII, W&J admitted a large number of veteran students which swelled the student population to over 1,300. This large surge in students resulted in the conversion of the chapel into a dining room. In 1952 student enrollment dropped back to normal levels and the dining services were moved back.