Oregon State University has long been noted for its picturesque campus and architecture. Unfortunately, only one of OSU's beautiful early 20th century barns still stands. Between 1900 and 1940, Oregon State built many outstanding examples of barns, most of which have succumbed to fire, neglect, or obsolescence.
The first college barn was constructed in 1889, an octagonal structure with a cupola and two wings that were later additions. This building served as the college's primary barn until 1909, when construction of a new barn was completed. Between 1908 and 1937, at least seven barns were constructed on the college grounds. John V. Bennes, a noted Portland architect, designed six of the barns, as well as many other campus buildings during that period. Today, only one of the six barns designed by Bennes – the Veterinary Dairy Barn – has survived.
Most of OSU's barns have been transitory structures compared to other buildings on campus. At least three barns burned to the ground, and several others were demolished to make way for new buildings as the main campus grew to the west. New barns have been constructed, but none compare in majesty to those structures built before World War II.
Above is a partial architectural drawing of the Dairy Barn - later the Ag. Utilities Building - ca. 1907. This drawing is one of several made by Portland architect John Bennes and his colleagues for use in constructing the Oregon Agricultural College Dairy Barn.