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OSU Buildings Histories in the Special Collections and Archives Research Center

Building History

 

When it was dedicated in 1981, the LaSells Stewart Center was the largest building project at an Oregon public university financed entirely through private gifts. It was named for LaSells and Jessie Hills Stewart, whose three children – Faye Stewart, Loran L. “Stub” Stewart and Dorothy Chapman - made a pivotal gift to the initiative. It currently offers the 1,200-seat Austin Auditorium (honoring the family of Ken and Joan Austin), the 200-seat Construction and Engineering Hall, and five additional breakout spaces named in honor of donors who contributed to the project. The Giustina Gallery (honoring the family of N.B. and Jacqueline Giustina) in the lobby hosts monthly exhibits. In 2022, the building will be significantly expanded to include a new concert hall, revitalized auditorium and a small black box theatre, among other spaces for teaching and performance.

General Information

Address

875 SW 26th St. 

Architect

Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill Architects

Year Built

1981

Renovations

Expansion planned for 2022

Square Footage

43,211 sq ft

Purpose/Usage

Used primarily as a conference space; home to the Giustina Gallery and the Austin Auditorium.

Previous Name(s)

OSU Foundation Cultural and Conference Center (dedicated and renamed in 1981

Namesake

Lt. Col. LaSells Stewart - Oregon resident, founder of Bohemia Lumber Co., served in WWI with the 20th Engineers and was decorated with a purple heart and several citations. 

Historic District

No

Blueprints

Facilities Services Records, 1888-2003. Folder 053

Maps

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

Photographs

Oregon State University Historical Photographs, 1868-1980

Further Archival Information

Oregon Digital: A search for the LaSells Stewart Center yields several results, many of them photos and university periodicals. 

SCARC: The Oregon State University Memorabilia Collection and the News and Communication Services Records both include a subject file about the LaSells Stewart Center. In addition, the College of Engineering Records includes correspondence about donations for the Construction and Engineering Hall at the LaSalls Stewart Center. 

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