Skip to Main Content

OSU Buildings Histories in the Special Collections and Archives Research Center

Building History

A black and white image of Cauthorn Hall, now known as Fairbanks Hall.

Built in 1892 as a dormitory for men, Cauthorn Hall was named for Thomas E. Cauthorn. Cauthorn served on the college’s board of regents from 1888 to 1891, and was chair of the board’s executive committee in 1890 and 1891. He also served in the Oregon Senate from 1883 to 1891. As a regent, he spoke before the Oregon legislature in order to secure appropriations for OAC, including $25,000 in funds for construction of the first men’s dormitory.

Designed by W.D. Pugh, the dorm could accommodate more than 100 students, with amenities such as water, steam heat, electric lights, dining room, and a kitchen. At its construction in 1892, room and board in Cauthorn cost $2.50 per week.

Due to the overcrowding of Waldo Hall - constructed as a women's dormitory in 1907 - Cauthorn Hall was converted to women's housing in 1912. Women lived in the dormitory until 1927, when it was renamed Kidder Hall for Ida Kidder, the university’s first professional librarian, and was converted into a classroom building.

General Information


220 SW 26th Street


W. D. Pugh

Year Built




Square Footage



Previously: Residence Hall; Currently: Classrooms, Office Space, Art Gallery

Previous Name(s)



Thomas E. Cauthorn

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

SCARC: SCARC's holdings include a wide variety of collections documenting Cauthorn Hall, including maps, personal papers, oral histories, photographs, and university records and publications.

Oregon Digital: Includes both images and textual materials documenting the history of Cauthorn Hall. It should be noted that two subsequent dormitories have carried Cauthorn's name.