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OSU Buildings Histories in the Special Collections and Archives Research Center

Building History

An image of Benton Hall, now known as Community Hall.

Benton Hall was named after the residents of Benton County who originally raised the money for its construction. Benton County is named after Thomas Hart Benton, a United States Senator from Missouri. Benton Hall was renamed Community Hall in November 2017.

General Information


1650 SW Pioneer Pl


Wilbur R. Boothby; Edgar Lazarus (1899 changes to the building)

Year Built




Square Footage



Previously: Classrooms, Administrative Offices, Library (1888-1918), President's Office (1888-1923);

Currently: Music Department

Previous Name(s)

Administration Building (1888-1947)

Benton Hall (1947-2017)


Thomas Hart Benton, US Senator from Missouri; Currently: Named for the 'community' of Benton County which funded the building

Historic District

Yes; Historic Contributing Building




Facilities Services Records, 1888-2003. Series XX:  Campus, Farm, and Property Maps, 1899-1990. Campus and Farm Maps: 3-A

Oregon State University Campus Maps, 1894-1994


Oregon State University Historical Photographs, 1868-1980

Further Archival Information

Namesake Controversy and Resolution: A team of OSU faculty including researchers, professors, and archivists came together in 2016 to deliberate over several building names that students had called into question due to controversial namesakes. These building names were researched in depth by the Building Names Committee, and resolutions were found for each one. In the case of Benton Hall, its name was changed to Community Hall, to better reflect the support of the community in the Corvallis area who helped erect the building in 1888.

Oregon Digital: As the cornerstone of the Corvallis OSU Campus, Community Hall has been one of the best photographed buildings. A search on Oregon Digital produces 712 results, many of which are historic pictures of the building that document campus growing and changing around it.

SCARC: The Special Collections and Archives Research Center holds a multitude of information about Community Hall. A search of "Benton Hall" produces 50 matches of different variety, such as maps, manuscripts, films, and photographs. Of note is the Memorabilia Collection, box 25.9-25.10, which includes newspaper clippings, an 1882 Telegram, an 1887 Cornerstone Ceremony invitation, 1918 building plans, correspondence, reports, and student history papers about the building.