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OSU Buildings Histories in the Special Collections and Archives Research Center

Building History

A color image of Cordley Hall.

Like other OSU buildings, Cordley Hall was built in stages and has been updated over the years.  Opened in 1956, as the Agricultural and Biological Science Building, Cordley Hall served as the new home of the botany, horticulture, and entomology departments.  Over the years it has housed several of the university’s science and agriculture departments including zoology, and plant pathology

The building is named for Arthur Burton Cordley who joined the faculty of Oregon Agricultural College (now OSU) in 1895 as professor of zoology and entomology. He became the first dean of the School of Agriculture in 1908, a position he held until his retirement in 1931.  His research focused on plant pathology, and contributed to the control of diseases in apples using a lime-sulphur spray.

Renovations to Cordley Hall, which began in 2020, are expected to be completed in 2024.

General Information


2701 SW Campus Way


Bear, McNeil, Schneider, Bloodworth & Hawes

Year Built



1965- Facilities Services Records (RG 193) I. Architectural Drawings and Plans Individual Structures: OC 43.05.02, 2020-

Square Footage



Science and Agricultural Departments

Previous Name(s)



Arthur Burton Cordley, professor of Zoology, Dean of the School of Agriculture (1908-1931)

Historic District

Yes; Historic Contributing Building


Facilities Services Records (RG 193) I. Architectural Drawings and Plans Individual Structures: Box 106


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

Oregon Digital: Contains many historic photographs of Cordley Hall and the greenhouses that surround it, as well as information about the science and agricultural department at Oregon State.

SCARC: The Special Collections and Archives Research Center holds a vast selection of research material pertaining to Cordley Hall, including personal papers, oral histories, and photograph collections. Of note is the Memorabilia Collection, box 26.8, which contains building plans, a ground breaking ceremony script, correspondence, and other accounts.