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OSU Buildings Histories in the Special Collections and Archives Research Center

Building History

 

Unlike his other designs for buildings on campus, John V. Bennes' design for the Women's Building was selected by the Board of Regents as part of an open contest that fielded 13 total design submissions. The 87,486 square foot building was home to several classrooms, a library, a lounge, a ballroom, gymnasiums, a games room, a locker room, and a swimming pool. According to a statement provided by Ruth Glassow, the then-head of physical education for women at Oregon Agricultural College, "There are more elaborate women's buildings and some that would make finer social centers, but the new O.A.C. Women's Building is in my opinion the best in the United States for the purpose intended - a physical education plant for college women."

Today, the building houses the College of Public Health and Human Services, the Office of Student Success, and Kinesiology faculty. It remains true to its original intended purpose - the gymnasiums and pool continue to be used today in the course of CPHHS physical activity programs and classes for Corvallis community members and OSU faculty, staff, and students. 

General Information

Address

160 SW 26th St. Corvallis, OR 97331

Architect

John V. Bennes

Year Built

1926

Renovations

1990s - wooden windows in the dance studio were replaced with replication windows, roof retiled.

1993 - pool and gym windows and skylights replaced

2000 - elevator added

Square Footage

87,486 sq. ft. 

Purpose/Usage

Designed primarily as a physical education building for women, but also provided space for social gatherings; "the Women's Building devoted to the advancement and attainment of the all 'round woman and things womanly!"

Previous Name(s)

N/A

Namesake

N/A

Historic District

Yes; Historic Building

Blueprints

Folder 118 I. Individual Structures - Women's Building 

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 wealth of information about the Women's Building exists with Oregon Digital, including several hundred photographs. In addition, the December 1926 issue of the O.A.C. Alumnus includes a multi-page feature on the construction of the Women's Building with photos. 

SCARC: Several collections make mention of the Women's Building

  • Activities of Women Scrapbook, 1909 - 1930
    • Includes a program for the dedication of the Women's Building
  • Oregon State Memorabilia Collection
    • Box-Folder 31.7: Buildings - Women's Building, 1926-1992
      • Includes newspaper clippings, promotional brochures, invitations to dedications, student papers. Includes postcard of Summer Session students in front of the Women's Building; printed for the Business and Professional Women's Convention in 1927

Map