Category Archives: Historic Preservation

The Day Peavy’s House Rolled Away…

Peavy House

Peavy House

Last weekend the 101-year-old Peavy House moved to an open lot at Northwest 30th Street and Northwest Johnson Avenue!

The original owner was George Wilcox Peavy. He headed the forestry department in 1910 and in 1934 was named president of what was then Oregon State College. He also was elected the mayor of Corvallis in 1947. Peavy lived for many years in the house with his wife and children; he died in Corvallis on June 24, 1951.

Read more about the move and the plans for the site on the Gazette-Times web site.


Take a walk through history

BeaverTracks screenshot

Remember last year the OSU Libraries launched BeaverTracks, an interactive mobile guide and walking tour of Oregon State University’s historical locations? As the showers slow and the rhodies bloom, now is a great time to grab your smartphone and head outside! Of course, this is Oregon after all, so if you look out the window and see a storm, you can virtually walk or read about the tour on the OSU Libraries website.

May is Historic Preservation Month and there is plenty to learn about the history of Oregon …

  • The OSU Historic Preservation office, part of OSU Facility Services, has a wonderful site with information and resources about our campus, including the Historic Preservation Plan, Historic Building Map, information about OSU as a National Historic District, and a Photo Gallery with a sampling of images from the OSU Archives Collections.
  • Want to study historic preservation in a more “academicky” manner? The University of Oregon, our neighbor to the south, has a Historic Preservation Program, housed in the School of Architecture and Allied Arts, which offers a Master of Science in Historic Preservation as well as an Undergraduate Minor.
  • The City of Corvallis has had a historic preservation program since 1982, and you can learn all about it on the City web site; it is full of great information about May 2011 activities to celebrate the month, as well as information about permits, contacts, resources, and a bit on the three National Register Historic Districts, Avery-Helm, College Hill West, and Oregon State University.
  • The Oregon Heritage Commission is always good for gobs of information related to all things that support heritage, cultural, and historic preservation related activities in Oregon.
  • Finally, one of my favorite resources is the Oregon Historic Sites Database. It is invaluable for the information it provides based on County, city, or address searches! It also lets you refine your search with the option to only display those properties listed on the National Register.

Enjoy — and lace up your shoes for some walking!

Get out & take a walk …

Rumor has it that graduation weekend will be full of some much needed sun. And what better way to celebrate the grads and the sunshining sun than with a nice long walk! Check out Beaver Tracks, a Historical Locations & Walking Tour created by OSU Libraries and Archives.

And while you are out and about, head downtown for the “Walking Tour of Selected Historic Sites and Structures in Downtown Corvallis.” Want to know more about downtown? Check out the “Corvallis, Oregon 1811 – 1945 : Historic Context” and the “Inventory of Historic Sites & Structures.”

Celebrate John Bennes and OSU as a National Historic District!

womens-pool.jpgOregon State University celebrates its historic status with a ceremony on Thursday, May 14th, to honor our history, architectural legacy, and National Historic District status. The university received this designation from the National Park Service and U.S. Department of the Interior last fall, and it places OSU on the National Register of Historic Places. So join us in the celebration — at corner of 15th and Jefferson or virtually on Flickr!

Who better to focus on than the man famous for designing many of our campus buildings for our latest Flickr set? We’ve created a new set, which lives in the OSU Archives Photograph Collection, to show you some great pictures of the buildings of John Bennes.

Bennes was a prolific Portland architect who designed more than 30 buildings on the Oregon State campus from 1907 to 1940. He was an admirer of Frank Lloyd Wright and an proponent of the “Prairie School” design for residences in Portland, but his styles ran the gamut and his unity of design at OAC was characterized by many as “exceptional.” Interestingly, his first building on the OAC campus was a dairy barn — the first of six he designed for the college — but he expanded his reach and designed all the buildings you see in this set. To learn more check out the Alumni Association site’s “Up Close and Personal: Campus Tour”, written by OSU Archivist Larry Landis.

And what about the historic designation? “The uniqueness of the place was not lost on the National Park Service, which recently announced that is has placed not just a building but an entire ‘historic district’ of OSU structures, green spaces and plans on the National Register of Historic Places. Some 83 ‘historic resources’ are involved, including such icons as Weatherford Hall, the Memorial Union and Benton Hall, which at the age of 116, is the oldest building on campus. OSU is now Oregon’s only public or private college or university so represented on the register. In fact, only a handful of campuses nationally have secured such a district, among them the College of William & Mary and Washington and Lee University.”

To learn more about OSU and the National Historic District, visit the “Oregon 150 at Oregon State” page.

Speaking of historic places…

The Whiteside Theatre Foundation has received a $5000 grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation to help pay for a structural evaluation of the vintage Corvallis movie palace. The 87-year-old theater, shut down seven years ago, needs renovation work, and foundation fundraisers say this grant is a key first step in that process.

And that’s not all, because the grant award followed another piece of good news for the theater: the Whiteside has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places!

whiteside-2.jpg To learn more, visit the Whiteside Theatre website.

And yes, they have a Flickr-based photo tour!

To read more about the new grant, read the Gazette Times article “Grant plants seed for Whiteside.”
To see the National Register of Historic Places application, which has tons of great information about the building and its history, check out the application pdf (warning, it’s a decent-sized download).

Newly Digitized: Corvallis College Articles of Incorporation

corvallis_college.jpgThe OSU Archives has added the Corvallis College Articles of Incorporation to its digital resources! Included are the

  • Articles of Incorporation of Corvallis College: August, 1868 (filed October 2, 1868)
  • supplementary Articles of Incorporation of Corvallis College: December 30, 1875 (filed January 3, 1876)
  • report of the committee upon the title to the college farm: August 9, 1884

For more information on the birth of Corvallis College, please visit the OSU Archives Chronological History page, the OSU Alumni Association page, or Wikipedia’s History of Oregon State University page.

One Step Closer: OSU as a National Historic District?

gill-image.jpgFollowing a unanimous vote Friday by the State Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation, Oregon State University may become the first Oregon university to have its own National Historic District. The historic district would encompass 83 buildings and four lawn areas, including the Memorial Union and its quad, Benton Hall, Strand Agricultural Hall, and Gill Coliseum.

According to Vincent Martorello, Facilities Services, “Once we are a district, it will really help us capture the beauty and tradition of this campus and help us preserve the character that you see out across campus as we have new development.”

Corvallis already has roughly 500 properties listed on the national register. These properties are registered individually or as part of the two national historic districts, the Avery-Helm Historic District near downtown and the College Hill West Historic District north of campus.

To read more, please visit the Gazette Times site for Kyle Odegard’s weekend article.