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OSU Buildings Histories

Building History

Oregon State University Flickr

In 1900, a new Mechanical Hall opened, designed by Portland architect Edgar Lazarus. The original Mechanical Hall, a cornerstone of Engineering Row, had been destroyed by fire in 1898. In 1920 a third floor was added and the name was changed to Apperson Hall. It was renamed Kearney Hall after a 2009 renovation that entirely rebuilt the interior while retaining its historic stone façade. The major renovation was made possible, in part, by more than $4 million in support from Lee and Connie Kearney of Vancouver, Washington, two of OSU’s most active volunteers and generous philanthropists. Lee Kearney, a former director and division manager of Peter Kiewit Sons’ Co., earned his degree in civil engineering from OSU in 1963. Connie Kearney began higher education at OSU before earning undergraduate and law degrees at other institutions. Her volunteer service includes leadership on the OSU Foundation and 4-H Foundation boards. Civil engineering has been housed in what’s now known as Kearney Hall since 1906, and shared the building with the printing department for many years.

General Information

Address 1491 SW Campus Way
Architect Edgar Lazarus
Year Built 1898
Renovations 1920, 1950, 1963, 2009
Square Footage 31,952
Purpose/Usage

Engineering

Previous Name(s) Mechanical Hall (1900-1920), Apperson Hall (1920-2009)
Namesake

Lee and Connie Kearney of Vancouver, Washington, two of OSU’s most active volunteers and generous philanthropists. Lee Kearney, a former director and division manager of Peter Kiewit Sons’ Co., earned his degree in civil engineering from OSU in 1963. Connie Kearney began higher education at OSU before earning undergraduate and law degrees at other institutions. Her volunteer service includes leadership on the OSU Foundation and 4-H Foundation boards.

Historic District Yes; Historic Contributing Structure
Blueprints Unknown
Maps

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

Oregon State University Campus Maps, 1894-1994

Photographs

Oregon Digital- Digitized photos of Kearney Hall

Oregon State University Historical Photographs, 1868-1980

Further Archival Information

Oregon State Memorabilia Collection: The Memorabilia Collection consists of individual items of historical value such as programs, posters, brochures, clippings, buttons, pennants, stickers, and other ephemera.

Box-Folder 27.20: Buildings - Kearney Hall, 2009: Newspaper clippings about the efficiency of Kearney Hall's green energy, as well as one about Lee and Connie Kearney. Pamphlets from a Kearney Hall guided tour, as well as a Historical Campus walking tour.

 

Box-Folder 25.4: Buildings - Apperson Hall, 1898-2007: Contains reports from the 1898 fire that burned the first Mechanical Hall, to the construction of the second Mechanical Hall in 1900, as well as information regarding the funding for the upgraded Apperson Hall in 1920. There are also student reports in this folder about the construction process, and reports from an architectural feasibility study of the building in 1963, which include blueprint drawings.

 

Edwin T. Reed Papers, 1886-1948: Contains 8 photographs of Kearney Hall (Apperson Hall) and the surrounding area.

 

Contract Administration Records, 1889-1976:

Box-Folder 1.31: J.W. Bennes and OAC, 1920: Contains the working drawings, details, and specifications for several buildings, including Kearney Hall (Apperson Hall)

 

Box-Folder 1.49: Ernest Thomas & Fred Shearer & Theo M. Barr and OAC, 1920: Contains three contracts related to Kearney Hall (Apperson Hall), as well as information pertaining to the payment of John V. Bennes for architectural plans and specifications.

 

F. Ross Brown Papers, 1890-1963: Campus photographs from the period of 1890-1910, including a

​view of the construction of Kearney Hall (Apperson Hall).

 

College of Engineering Records, 1930-2002 Series 4 Facilities and Equipment, 1930-1988:

Box-Folder 7.17: Apperson Hall, 1957-1963: Addresses topics such as building renovation and remodel, space needs analysis, long term building program planning, and allocations for equipment.

Box-Folder 23.1: Floor Plans and Drawings, 1930-1975: Features Kearney Hall (Apperson Hall) as well as Covell Hall, Graf Hall, the Instructional Shops, Merryfield Hall, and Rogers Hall.

 

College of Engineering- Early History of Kearney Hall: A history of Kearney Hall compiled from the

archives by the College of Engineering.

Map