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OSU Buildings Histories in the Special Collections and Archives Research Center

Building History

Central Hall served as one of several temporary men's dormitories, constructed to accommodate Oregon State’s rapid post-war enrollment of veterans. It was comprised of housing units that had previously served as worker housing at the Vancouver shipyards during World War II. The units were dismantled and brought to the Oregon State campus in 1946 and 1947. Central Hall was located at the current site of the Buxton-Cauthorn-Hawley-Poling quad on Jefferson Way, and housed 369 men at full capacity. Organized into five wings, or groups:

  • Ballard Hall: Likely named for former OSC President Frank Lewellyn Ballard (1940).
  • Gatch Hall: Named for Thomas Gatch, Oregon State’s president from 1897-1907.
  • Peavy Hall: Named for George W. Peavy, longtime Dean of Forestry and OSC president (1932-1940). Not to be confused with the present-day Peavy Hall which houses the College of Forestry and is located at 3100 Southwest Jefferson Way.
  • Bennett Hall: Origin unknown.
  • Jefferson Hall: Named for U.S. president Thomas Jefferson.

Central Hall was in use until 1960, but was ultimately demolished as nearby men's cooperatives - Reed and Heckart Lodges - filled the need for men's-only housing.

General Information


Just west of Weatherford on Jefferson Way



Year Built




Square Footage



Residence Hall

Previous Name(s)



Named for its location

Historic District





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


Buildings Photographic Collection, 1880-2002
Richard W. Gilkey Photographs, 1947-2005

Further Archival Information

Oregon Digital: Oregon Digital includes a number of photographic and textual documents documenting the history of Central Hall. Of particular note, is an image of men eating in the Quonset hut cafeteria that served both Central and Hudson Halls.