UGA’s best-known icon, the Arch that marks the entrance from downtown to North Campus, got a makeover in April—just in time for spring graduation photos. Workers stripped 25 years’ worth of paint accumulation before priming and repainting the Arch.
The new paint highlights structural details previously covered by layers of old paint. Commissioned in 1856, the Arch was created by the Athens Foundry using parts the company had on hand—three lampposts and the top of a boiler.
The Arch originally contained the same finials, or ornamental tops, used on the North Campus fence. The decorative scrollwork was added in the 1890s, and the globe lights were added in about 1915, replacing the original finials. Funding for Arch maintenance is provided by a specific endowment account, not state funds.
For most graduates, visiting the Arch after commencement is a rite of passage. Since the 1900s, tradition has held that students may not pass beneath the Arch until they have received a diploma from UGA.
For a video slideshow, visit http://photo.alumni.uga.edu/multimedia/archpaint/.