Happy Birthday, Waller Hall!

by University Communications,

  • Waller Hall
    The “old historic temple,” Waller Hall, turns 150 on Oct. 21. There will be a celebration in the Office of the President on Oct. 23.

Join us as we commemorate Waller Hall’s sesquicentennial — in other words, its 150th birthday. The building, which was originally known as University Hall, was officially dedicated on Oct. 21, 1867, and is the oldest university building west of the Mississippi River that is still in use in the United States.

We will celebrate Waller Hall’s special day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 23 with exhibits and displays located on the fifth floor in the Office of the President. Don’t forget to grab a piece of birthday cake as well. At 12:30 p.m., 15 campus alumni will ring the victory bell on the southeast corner of Waller Hall once to celebrate each of Waller Hall’s decades. Join us for this special event!

Quick Facts

1867 — Construction of University Hall completed.

1872 — Old Oregon Institute building completely destroyed by fire. University Hall remains as the only existing campus building.

1891 — University Hall fire destroys entire roof and top two floors. Building was rebuilt with a Mansard roof and square tower in lieu of the original cupola.

1912 — Building renamed Waller Hall after the Rev. Alvin Waller.

1919 — Waller Hall caught fire during Christmas break. The entire building was gutted and the Mansard-style roof and square tower were completely destroyed.

1920 — Waller Hall rebuilt, using original plans including the round cupola.

1884–1923 — University Hall/Waller Hall housed all school departments, including the College of Law.

1867–1880 — University Hall/Waller Hall housed the medical school until it moved to Portland.

1987–1989 — Waller Hall renovations included converting the the attic to office space (currently the President’s Office) and addressed other issues including seismic upgrades.

2005 — Waller Hall renovations included brick repair, fixing leaks and installation of skylights.

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