The first building for Northern was built a year after the university was founded. South Wing was dedicated on July 3, 1900 and, later that day, held the first commencement exercises for three of the school's students who had previous schoolwork before their year at Northern. Prior to South Wing's completion, the first classes of the Northern Normal School, which started September 21, 1899, were held in six rooms on second floor of the Marquette City Hall. The original building was called South Wing as it was understood that there would be a North Wing as well as a main administration building connecting the two. Tragedy struck in December 1905. Fire destroyed all but the outer shell of the building while students were away on winter vacation. However, the Library Annex on the north side of the building was saved through valiant efforts of firefighters. Most student records were consumed in the fire which caused a good deal of trouble later in establishing student grades.