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The first barn on campus was an octagonal structure built in 1889. It was the heart of a 180-acre farm until 1909, when a new barn was completed. In its later years, the Octagonal Barn served as a horse barn until it was destroyed by a fire in 1924.
Cauthorn Hall was built in 1892 after Thomas E. Cauthorn secured state funding for a men’s dormitory. The hall was home to 100 men and later 90 women after the men moved into Weatherford Hall. It was converted into a barracks for student Army Training Corps at the start of World War I, then housed art and history classrooms (art is still taught there today). The name was changed to Kidder Hall in 1927 to honor the university’s first librarian, Ida Kidder. The name changed again in 1963, when it became Fairbanks Hall, named for John Leo Fairbanks, who headed the art and architecture program from 1923 to 1946.
Austin Hall, the new home for the College of Business, opened in 2014. The 100,000-square-foot, state-of the-art facility includes a 250-seat auditorium, classrooms, project rooms and multiple collaborative areas to serve students, alumni, faculty and business partners. Ken and the late Joan Austin provided the lead gift for the building.
The Oregon Agricultural College bandstand was built in 1912 and hosted concerts and many other student events for more than 50 years. In 1914, President William Jasper Kerr (1907-1932) announced the beginning of World War I to the corps of cadets from the bandstand. It was removed to make room for the Kerr Library (now the Valley Library) in the early 1960s.
Waldo Hall was built in 1907 as a 115-room dormitory for women. Due to an enrollment increase, it was remodeled in 1911, and it became a men’s dorm in 1959. In 1966, the building was renovated, and the first three floors were converted into offices. The fourth floor was closed for 45 years until 2009, when funds became available for its renovation. The building is named after Clara Humason Waldo, the first female member of the OAC Board of Regents.
Tebeau Hall is named for 1948 engineering alumnus William “Bill” Tebeau, the first African American man to graduate from Oregon State. The 85,000-square foot, five-floor residence hall opened in 2014 and is home to 320 students.
The Memorial Union, known as the MU, opened on Homecoming in 1928 and has served as Oregon State’s living room for more than 80 years. First conceptualized by two student veterans, A.G. Schille and Warren Daigh, it was built as a memorial to students who fought in World War I. The MU was rededicated to all students, faculty and staff who have served their country in 2009. More than 120 flags representing every country that has ever sent a student to the university proudly hang in the MU concourse.
The library has grown from a 25-square-foot room in Benton Hall to a six-story facility with more than 1.4 million volumes and multiple special collections. The original library was started in 1867 by the student-run Adelphian Literary Society, and when the collection outgrew its tiny space in 1918, the library moved into what is now Kidder Hall. The library was renamed in 1954 to honor former president William Jasper Kerr, and the name carried over to a new building in 1963. It was extensively remodeled, expanded and renamed the Valley Library in 1999.
This campus icon was completed in just six months in 1928. It served as a residence hall for more than 60 years, but leaks destroyed interior plaster, and wiring and plumbing became dated and dangerous. Weatherford closed at the end of the 1993-94 school year, and the Corvallis Fire Department used the dilapidated building for rescue training. After a $20 million renovation, Weatherford reopened in 2004 as a unique living-learning center for the Austin Entrepreneurship Program.
The cornerstone for Benton Hall was laid on Aug. 17, 1887, and it was completed in 1888. The oldest building on campus, Benton Hall served for many years as the main administration building. It is now home to the Department of Music, and on warm days, you can hear musicians rehearsing through its open windows.
Until 1989, there was not a working clock on top of Benton Hall. Early photos show the “clock’s” white face with no hands. Later, students painted hands on the clock to mark the passing of President Warren G. Harding’s in 1923. The two clock faces were set at 5:00 and 8:00. With support from the class of 1988, Northwest Natural Gas donated the clock that had sat atop the Portland Gas & Coke building on St. Helens Road in Portland for 75 years.
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