Washington Hall at the University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Indiana is the seventh oldest university owned building on the historic campus. It is part of the University of Notre Dame: Main and North Quadrangles historic district, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and was the original home of the university’s music and performing arts programs. The theater is located just east of the University’s Golden Dome, the University's main administrative building, on the main quad on campus, also known as God Quad.HistoryNotre Dame before Washington HallEver since the university’s earliest years, the site of Washington Hall has been associated in the minds of Notre Dame students, alumni, faculty and staff with music, entertainment and recreation. In the 19th century, Notre Dame was a small and very much self-contained institution. As early as 1846, the combination of a recognition that Notre Dame would have to provide its own entertainment and a French-inspired appreciation for the fine, dramatic and musical arts led the university’s founders to reserve a building for artistic instruction and performance.The original music hall, which stood on the site next to the Administration Building now occupied by Washington Hall, was a two-story clapboard building. It housed classrooms and practice rooms as well as facilities for lectures, concerts and campus assemblies. The building played a major role in the life of Notre Dame throughout the early years.On April 23, 1879, however, the life of the university changed abruptly when a fire destroyed the five major campus buildings, including the music hall. Although the university literally stood in ashes, the Congregation of Holy Cross was determined to rebuild Notre Dame. Wiloughby J. Edbrooke, a Chicago architect, was commissioned to create a new campus. Two years later, the task was largely completed.