End of an Era

by Tina Owen,

  • Haseldorf
  • Haseldorf
  • Haseldorf
  • Haseldorf
  • Haseldorf
  • Haseldorf
  • Haseldorf
  • Haseldorf
  • Haseldorf
  • Haseldorf
  • Haseldorf
  • Haseldorf
  • Haseldorf

Step under the decorative metal awning, through the front door and into the hallway of Haseldorf Apartments, and it’s unclear why this slightly decrepit building has captured the hearts of numerous Willamette students.

The posters peel away from the walls, the front-entrance mailboxes are rusted and the windowpanes rattle. But, enter one of the 27 units available for juniors and seniors, and Haseldorf’s peculiar charm becomes apparent.

The apartments, which range from studios to two-bedrooms, are colorfully painted and rich with quaint historic details like arched hallways, glass door knobs and old-fashioned metal radiators.

In the summer of 1985, Willamette purchased the four-storey, grey-stuccoed building located just one block away from campus on Cottage Street. No historic records survive about its original purpose, but, over the past 30 years, numerous Willamette students have created their own fond memories and funny stories — including unsubstantiated rumors of an exorcism supposedly conducted in the 1970s to remove a ghost. 

At the end of this semester, Haseldorf will close its doors as a dorm. Enjoy a last look at this iconic piece of Willamette history through the photo slideshow above. Below, read some Haseldorf memories submitted to the alumni association’s Facebook page:

 “I lived in Haseldorf for two years, and it remains my favorite apartment to date (despite the fact that it took me almost a full year to discover that if I wanted hot water in the shower, I had to run cold water in the sink!).” — Rebecca Trautman ‘08 

“[I was an alum] of the fourth floor during 1992-93. Good times. There were four of us in the apartment, and we would take turns hosting dinner parties for our neighbors and friends.” — Karl Stickel ‘93 

“In the fall of 1987, it snowed a lot and Willamette closed for the first time in years. My roommate and I built a snowman in front [of the building]. When things started to melt, our snowman was decapitated by a  huge icicle that cracked off and fell from the roof.” — Stacie Baumeister ‘91, MM’93

“What a loss! Great building. I lived on the third floor 1996-97. There was a ghost in that elevator. We all usually took the stairs.” — Tiffany Campbell ‘97

“My husband, Buck Taylor ‘07, and I were both living there when we started dating in September 2006. I don’t remember exactly how it started, except that I had a microwave and he didn’t!”— Molly Taylor