The central campus building was the last Fredrich E. Giesecke designed in 1912 during his first stint as campus architect. The Academic Building was completed in 1914. The building is crowned with a copper, oxidized dome, creating a rotunda for the interior. The four-story building is considered beaux-arts classical design, according to its historical marker. The front features four ionic columns supporting a pediment or triangular overhang shading the second-story balcony/porch. Cornices, arches and other classic architectural details adorn the building’s exterior and interior.
A replica of the Liberty Bell is suspended from inside the dome. Every state received a replica in 1950. Gov. Allan Shivers gave A&M the state’s replica for the Aggies’ contributions to the world wars. Shivers said “No one has suffered more than the Aggies, so we will give it to them,” according to the Appelt Visitor's Center walking tour. The university seal is inlaid as a mosaic into the tile floor below the bell.
The statue of Gov. Lawrence Sullivan Ross, dubbed “Sully,” can be found in front of the building. Buglers stand on the roof in front of the dome during Silver Taps ceremonies.
In its 100 years of existence, the building has been home to numerous offices, departments and programs. Today, the building houses administrative offices and Faculty Senate. Hispanic studies, European & classical languages & cultures and performance studies in the College of Liberal Arts also have offices and classrooms in the building.