Historical and/or Architectural Value, Properties of

Effective Date: 
Policy Statement: 

Based upon the recommendations and the report of an ad hoc committee, the Board adopted guidelines applicable to properties of historical and/or architectural value in the facility planning of the various institutions governed by the Board. Specifically, it is expected that the buildings and other improvements rated "of prime significance" would be preserved. In the event consideration is to be given to the possible removal or major modification of such facilities in the future, such matters would be brought to the Building Committee and the Board for review and appropriate action. Similarly, with respect to structures rated "of secondary significance," they shall be considered in the future planning of the institutions and shall not be razed, relocated, or modified substantially without prior concurrence of the Board.

The recommendations of the ad hoc committee were as follows:

General Precepts

Since historical preservation emerged as a specialized discipline following the Second World War, certain basic precepts have governed the professional approach to management of historic structures.

  • Historic structures enrich and illuminate the cultural heritage of the state and the nation. Accordingly, it is appropriate and desirable that they be made available for public use to the greatest extent applicable.
  • In general, it is better to preserve than to restore, and better to restore than reconstruct. Preservation is a treatment designed to sustain the form and extent of a structure essentially as existing. It aims at halting further deterioration and providing structural safety but does not contemplate significant rebuilding. Restoration is the process of accurately recovering, by the removal of later work and the replacement of missing original work, the form and details of a structure or part of a structure, together with its setting, as it appeared at some period in time. Adaptive restoration is the treatment for structures that are visually important in the historic scene but do not otherwise qualify for exhibition purposes. In such cases, the facade or so much of the exterior as is necessary, should be authentically restored so that it will be properly understood from the public view. The interior, in these circumstances, is usually converted to a modern, functional use. The restored portion of the exterior should be faithfully preserved in its restored form and detail. Reconstruction is the process of accurately reproducing by new construction the form and details of a vanished structure, or part of it, as it appeared at some period in time. (Such treatment would not normally be applicable to the management of campus facilities.)
  • Historic structures of prime significance bear an important relation to their sites, and, therefore, should be preserved in situ. Those of secondary significance may be moved when there is no feasible alternative for their preservation. In moving an historic structure, every effort should be made to reestablish its historic orientation, immediate setting, and general relationship to its environment.
  • Modern additions, such as air conditioning and fire detection and suppression equipment, are appropriate in historic structures of prime significance to the extent that they can be concealed within the structure or its setting. Other modern construction may be added suitably to historic structures of secondary significance when necessary for their continued use. The new work should be harmonious with the old in scale, proportion, materials, and color. Such additions should be as inconspicuous as possible from the public view and should not intrude upon the important historic values.
  • New construction, including structures, roads, and parking areas, should be designed in such a manner that the integrity and immediate setting of historic structures of prime significance may remain intact.

It is understood that certain of the oldest structures are in need of considerable work to bring them into conformance with requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Act. In some cases the condition and significance of an historic structure are such that an extensive outlay for preservation is perhaps unjustified. In no case encountered, however, is preservation or adaptive restoration believed to be technically infeasible. In certain notable cases, structures are considered of such primary importance that the costs involved in preservation or restoration are a lesser factor. In many cases, it is believed that adaptive restoration is a more economical course of action than replacement.

Specific Criteria

For purposes of evaluating properties owned by the State Board of Higher Education, a rating sheet was devised that bracketed properties in one of three categories for action, as follows:

  • Of prime significance. Top priority for preservation or restoration, as appropriate.
  • Of secondary significance. Recommended for consideration in future planning.
  • Also noted.

Following are the specific criteria for evaluation:

  • Historical Associations–Is the structure associated with the origins of the institution or the development of the community? Is it one of the original structures?
  • Stylistic Character–Does the structure set or contribute to a stylistic pattern on the campus or define important space?
  • Symbolic Value–Does the structure have high symbolic value? Has it become synonymous with the institution?
  • Representation of Type–Is the structure a prime example of a stylistic or structural type?
  • Rarity–Is the structure one of the last examples of its style and type remaining in the state?
  • Master Work–Is the structure a work of an architect noted in the history of architecture in Oregon?
  • Integrity–Has the fabric of the structure remained essentially as originally constructed?
  • Condition–Is the general condition of the structure good?
  • Adaptability–Is the structure suitable for adaptive restoration? Do its condition and relationship within or accessibility to the campus justify continued use?
  • Vulnerability–Is the structure vulnerable to replacement ore relocation by its location, size, or relative significance?

The Findings

The evaluations are listed below on a campus-by-campus basis. Brief supporting statements and illustrations are given only for those structures about which some question or controversy has been raised.

1.            University of Oregon

                On the University of Oregon campus, the ensemble grouping, or definition of spaces by related structures, is particularly noteworthy. If this quality is to be preserved, interrelationships of the older units of the campus should not be intruded upon. Those alterations or additions that are strictly necessary should be made to harmonize with the established organization.

            The earliest and most historic campus unit, or ensemble, is formed by Deady Hall and Villard Hall. It is linked to Gerlinger Hall, Hendricks Hall, and Susan Campbell Hall, the second most connotative grouping, by Friendly Hall, the Faculty Club, and Johnson Hall. Structures in the Girls' Dormitory unit designed by Dean Ellis Lawrence were built through the support of the alumnae and public subscription before formation of the State Board of Higher Education. A third ensemble of note is that formed by the University Library and the Art Museum.

Of Prime Significance - Top Priority for Preservation or Restoration

                Deady Hall                                   1876               W. W. Piper                        Second Empire Baroque

                Villard Hall                                   1885               W. H. Williams                   Second Empire Baroque

                Dads' Gates                                1940-1941

                Faculty Club                                1885-1886                                                    Italian Bracketed

            A good, late example of the Italian Bracketed, or Italian Villa Style. Occupies an important setting in the core of the campus. Built for faculty member George H. Collier and occupied by University presidents from 1896 through the 1930s. Recommended for preservation.

                Art Museum                              1930               E. F. Lawrence                   Modernistic

                University Library                     1936                                                               Modernistic

                Gerlinger Hall                             1921               E. F. Lawrence                   "Georgian"

                Hendricks Hall                            1917               E. F. Lawrence                   "Georgian"

                Susan Campbell Hall                1921               E. F. Lawrence                   "Georgian"


                Of Secondary Significance - Recommended for Consideration in Future Planning

                Friendly Hall                               1893                                                               "Jacobean"

                Johnson Hall                               1915                                                               "Roman"

                John Straub Hall                        1929                                                               "Georgian"

                President's House                   1923 (Acquired)                                        Norman Farmhouse

                Chancellor's House                  1938 (Acquired)                                        Craftsman Bungalow


                Also Noted

                Fenton Hall                                 1905                                                               Renaissance Revival

2.            Oregon State University

            The core of the Oregon State University campus is comprised of three major units or ensembles. The greatest concentration of early structures is found in the easterly unit surrounding Benton Hall, which is the symbol of the institution. Structures in this grouping that are more or less contemporaneous with Benton Hall share a common orientation toward the southeast. The other principal units are associated with quadrangles formed by (1) the Memorial Union-Home Economics Building, and (2) Kidder Hall-Kerr Library. New construction has been successfully integrated into the north side of the latter quadrangle, namely by the addition of the Milne Computer Center east of Kidder Hall.

                Of Prime Significance - Top Priority for Preservation or Restoration

                Benton Hall                                 1889                                                               Second Empire Baroque

                Fairbanks Hall                            1892               Walter D. Pugh                  Renaissance Revival

A good example of the Renaissance Revival Style in wood construction by an architect who was, for a time, a leading architect in the capital city. Second oldest building on campus (contemporaneous with the Chemistry Building). An important anchor on the southwest corner of the prime quadrangle. Still commodious and functional if brought up to code. Recommended for adaptive restoration.

                Memorial Union                       1928               Thomas and Mercier

                Mitchell Playhouse                  1898                                                               Queen Anne Revival

A rare example of the "Shingle Style" of the Queen Anne Revival. In a good state of preservation. Recommended for retention on original site.

                Paleontology Lab                     1892                                                               Queen Anne Revival

A typical example of the "Stick Style" of the Queen Anne Revival on a small scale. A suitable element in the immediate setting of Benton Hall. Recommended for restoration.


                Of Secondary Significance - Recommended for Consideration in Future-Planning

                Apperson Hall                            1900               Edgar Lazarus                     Romanesque Revival

Work of a noted Portland architect whose master work in masonry construction is Vista House at Crown Point on the Columbia River Highway. Originally Mechanical Hall. Third story later altered (see Figs. 13 and 14). An anchor on the north side of the Benton Hall ensemble. Recommended for preservation.


                Education Hall                            1902               Burgraff                              

An anchor on the south side of the Benton Hall ensemble combining elements of the Romanesque Revival and "Chateauesque" Style. Recommended for preservation.

                McAlexander Fieldhouse 1911                   Bennes and Hendricks

Also known as the Armory. A monumental structure recently upgraded for continued use. Interesting historic detail. Recommended for preservation.

                Dads' Gates


                Weatherford Hall                     1928               Bennes and Herzog

Interesting example of academic architecture. A popular landmark on an important corner of the campus. Recommended for preservation.


                Kidder Hall                                  1917               John V. Bennes

A good example of early academic, or Beaux Arts, architecture. A key element of one of the major ensembles of campus. Recommended for preservation.

                Women's Gym                          1926               John V. Bennes

An interesting example of academic architecture in the "Mediterranean" Style. Defines west side of the prime quadrangle. Recommended for preservation.


                Also Noted

                Waldo Hall                                   1907               Burgraff                               "Chateauesque"

A typical example of the "Chateauesque" Style with pleasing coloration and detail. Its location apart from the major ensembles and its state of disrepair make its position on the list of structures recommended for preservation marginal.

3.            Oregon College of Education (now Western Oregon University)

            The original building on the campus of Oregon College of Education, Campbell Hall, was enhanced by an ensemble of structures built within a few years' time and which set the pattern for later growth. Jessica Todd Hall, Senior Cottage, and Maple Hall, the old gymnasium, are a cohesive stylistic group framing an interior quadrangle. The Elementary School, which is of the same period of construction, forms a link to the newer additions of the campus.

                Of Prime Significance - Top Priority for Preservation or Restoration

                Campbell Hall                             1871 (tower demolished                       Gothic Revival

                                                                        October 1962)

                                                                        1889 South Wing

                                                                        1898 North Wing


                Jessica Todd Hall                       1917               A. E. Doyle                          "Tudor"

Work of a leading Portland architect of the early 20th century. Strongly supportive of Campbell Hall in scale, color, and texture. Defines a corner of the north entrance to campus. Recommended for preservation.

Senior Cottage                                          1917               A. E. Doyle                          Queen Anne Revival

A notable example of the "Shingle Style" of the Queen Anne Revival that reflects influence of the Arts and Crafts Movement. A complementary element adjacent to Todd Hall and pleasingly sited in the interior quadrangle. Recommended for preservation.

                Maple Hall                                   1913               A. E. Doyle                          "Jacobean"

An anchor of good, period design on the west side of the main axis of campus. Opposite other prime buildings. Recommended for preservation.


                Of Secondary Significance - Recommended for Consideration in Future Planning

                Administration Bldg.               1936

A good example of Moderne architecture. Its color, texture, scale, and proportions are in sympathy with historic styles of the original campus buildings. Recommended for preservation.

4.            Portland State University

                Of Prime Significance - Top Priority for Preservation or Restoration

                Fruit and Flower                       1928               Fred Fritsch                        "Georgian"

                Day Nursery


                Of Secondary Significance - Recommended for Consideration in Future Planning

                "Old Main"                                  c. 1915          M. H. Whitehouse

                (Lincoln High School)

                The original campus structure by a noted Portland architect.

                Howard (Robert S.)                 1893                                                               Queen Anne Revival


1632 S. W. 12th Avenue. Brick masonry, clapboard, and shingle cottage in the tradition of the Queen Anne Revival. Built for noted Louisiana banker-realtor R. S. Howard, who settled in Portland in 1891.

5.            Southern Oregon College (now Southern Oregon University)

                Of Prime Significance - Top Priority for Preservation or Restoration

                Chappel-Swedenburg            1905               Frank Clark                          Colonial Revival


A good example of Colonial Revival architecture with unusually fine detail. A gracious complement to campus facilities. Recommended for preservation.

                Of Secondary Significance - Recommended for Consideration in Future Planning

                Churchill Hall                              1925               John V. Bennes

                Peter Britt Estate,                    1852


                Grubb Barn, Ashland              1860s

6.            Eastern Oregon State College

                Of Secondary Significance - Recommended for Consideration in Future Planning

                Administration Bldg.               1929               John V. Bennes

No recommendations are offered at this time concerning Oregon Institute of Technology, the University of Oregon Dental School, or the University of Oregon Medical School.

Original Source: 
OUS Board Policy