Oregon State UniversitySpecial Collections & Archives Research Center
OSU Building Construction
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OSU undertook more than $88 million in construction projects during the summer of 1996. These included expansion of the Valley Library, major renovations of residence halls, reconstruction of the Industrial Building, expansion of the Valley End Zone Complex, remodeling of the bookstore, a facelift of the Memorial Union exterior, relocation of the laboratory theater to Wythycombe Hall, and construction of the new CH2M Hill Alumni Center. Numerous other buildings had roofs repaired and leaky pipes replaced.

But this was not the first period of intensive construction activity on campus. The mid-1910s saw the completion of 9 major campus buildings (including Milam, Strand, Langton, Kidder, and Moreland Halls). This more than doubled the number of structures on campus.

When Dryden Hall was completed in 1927, construction of the Memorial Union building was well underway and of Weatherford Hall was just beginning. The Women's Building had been completed the year before in 1926.

During 1959, several major campus structures were completed including dormitories for women (Snell) and men (Hawley), and the Physics-Chemistry Building (now Weniger Hall); a utility tunnel was dug between Waldo and Sackett Halls; and addition of the bookstore and commons to the Memorial Union began.

The most recent building boom was in early 1970, when four major buildings and two building additions were under construction or recently completed. Construction had begun on the new Administrative Services and Forestry buildings; Nash Hall was receiving its brick facing; and the Milne Computer Center and the first addition to Burt Hall had just been completed.

(Harriet's Photograph Collection #78)
(Harriet's Photograph Collection #78)

Above is the Commerce Building, ca. 1921. (current day Bexell Hall) This building housed not only the School of Commerce but the office of the President, Executive Secretary, College Editor, and several other departments. In this view to the northeast, the back of Alpha Hall is in the left background and Shepard Hall in the right. Photo by Howells Studio.