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OSU Buildings Histories in the Special Collections and Archives Research Center

Building History

A color image of Weatherford Hall.


Built in only six months, Weatherford Hall opened in 1928 as the men's dormitory, housing up to 344 men. Designed by architects John Bennes and Harry Herzog to be part of a dormitory quad, it was the only building from the quad grand plan to actually be built. Weatherford residents were known for their creativity and developed the first intranet on campus (which allowed multiple students to print from the same printer), tapped into the steam pipes in the basement to build a sauna, created lofts in their rooms, and painted their room doors a fanciful assortment of beverage labels, record labels, and abstract art. It was closed in 1994, but thanks to support from Joan and Ken Austin (’53) it underwent a complete renovation, reopening in 2004 as a College of Business living-learning community known as the Austin Entrepreneurship Program (AEP). In 2016, building on the success of AEP and its strong entrepreneurial heritage, the college launched Innovation Nation, a first-year living-learning program for business students in Weatherford, and InnovationX, the college’s emerging Center of Excellence for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. James K. Weatherford, for whom the tower and later the whole building was named, was a prominent defense attorney in the Pacific Northwest. He was part of the third graduating class (1872) and served on the Oregon Agricultural College Board of Regents for many years. Weatherford currently exists where the Poultry Building sat from 1893-1928.

General Information


300 SW 26th St.


John Bennes and Haryr Herzog

Year Built



Major interior renovation involving replacing plumbing, electrical, insulation, and the installation of features necessary for the Austin Entrepreneurship Program, including incubation room and cyber cafe, completed in 2004

Square Footage

105,090 sq ft


Undergraduate dormitory

Previous Name(s)



James K. Weatherford - OAC alumnus (Class of 1872), defense attorney and member of the OAC Board of Regents

Historic District

Yes; contributing building


Facilities Services Records, 1888-2003, Folders 155, 156, and 157


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: The Oregon State University Memorabilia Collection includes correspondence, promotional materials, and newspaper clippings related to Weatherford Hall. In addition, the Oregon State University Sesquicentennial Oral History Collection includes several oral histories related to Weatherford Hall, including an interview with former OSU President Paul Risser and computer scientist Bill Sundermeier. The Associated Men's Halls Scrapbook details the activities of housing and dormitory clubs that resided within Weatherford Hall.

Oregon Digital: A search for Weatherford Hall yields several historic photos and mentions of the dorm in university periodicals.