Collier House

Collier House

1170 East 13th Avenue.  Picture: "Collier Hall," Oregana 1910


  • 1884-1886.  In 1884, George H Collier,  a professor of Physics and Chemistry at the University of Oregon, bought 9.5 acres south of the campus from H. R.  Kincaid.  Construction began on the Collier House in 1895 and was completed in May 1886.  Collier came to the university as one of its first faculty members in 1879 after employment at Pacific University, where he received a Ph. D., and at Willamette University where he was head of the Mathematics Department.  No architect has been identified for the house; it was probably built like many from pattern books or builder’s guides for the layout and style.  The stylistic influence of the residential work of architect Warren Haywood Williams, architect of the contemporary Villard Hall, is comparable.  The original house was extensively landscaped with a cherry orchard on the grounds.  According to the Collier House Remnants of the original landscape include the false cypress, sitka spruce, big leaf maple, Japanese maple, English Holly. In addition, the memorial hedge, donated in 1925 memory of Prince Lucien Campbell, is intact. Soon after the house was completed, it began to play a central role for community gatherings, meetings and parties.
  • 1896-1896.  In 1895, at age 68, Professor Collier retired.  The university acquired his property, which included a house and barn, in May 1896 for $5,000.  UO President Charles Hiram Chapman and his family moved into the second floor and the university library, numbering about 7,000 volumes, was moved into the first floor. From 1896-1900, the building was referred to as South Hall.  In the 1910 Oregana, it is called Collier Hall.
  • 1900. In 1900, the Board of Regents voted to make Collier House the permanent home of the university president.  During the occupancy of president Prince Lucien Campbell (1902- 1925), a variety of small changes were made throughout the building. A room and bath were added to the southwest bedroom, the front stairs were remodeled, and a sleeping porch as placed above the drying porch.
  • 1914. Ellis F. Lawrence redesigned the front porch and door in 1914, with the help of a architecture student Walter Church (stepson of P. L. Campbell).
  • A fireplace was added to the west wall in 1932, which involved the rearrangement of some windows. Many accounts characterize the building as a center of social activity for the university during this period. After Campbell’s death in 1925, the building was refinished prior to the next president’s occupancy.
  • 1930-1938.  During this period, the barn was razed (1930) and a two-car garage was added to the south.  The east porch was enclosed with glass and improvements were made to plumbing and heating systems. 
  • 1941.  The McMorran House became home of the university president, and the  Collier House became the Faculty Club. The associated renovations include turning the northwest parlor into a library and the southwest bedroom addition into a billiards room. The upstairs rooms were rented out to male faculty and the downstairs was used for meetings, special events and a restaurant.  Ellis Lawrence was one of the tenants of Collier House from 1942 until his death.  While Lawrence was dean of the School of Architecture & Allied Arts and university architect, he lived in Portland, and stayed in Eugene twice a week at the Hotel Osburn until the Collier House became available.
  • 1946.  Ellis Lawrence dies of a heart attack in his room at Collier House.
  • 1963.  A large dining room addition was designed by Wilmsen, Endicott & Unthank.  
  • 1980.  The name of the building was officially changed to Collier House.
  • 2003.  The Faculty Club closed in 2003. The Collier House became home to faculty offices, classrooms, meeting rooms, and a venue for music recitals. 



History Landmark Status, City of Eugene, Application (1976).  This report provides substantial historical information about the house.  The landmark status was initiated by Phyllis Collier Kerns, granddaughter of George H. and Sybil Collier.

Collier House, University of Oregon Historic Resources Survey.  University of Oregon Campus Planning, Design, and Constrution, 2006.

Collier House Restoration Proposal : 1170 East 13th Avenue, Eugene, Oregon. University of Oregon. Archives Department.; 1983

Archives & Manuscripts

Books and Parts of Books

  • Papers, Garry, II. Collier House Restoration Proposal. Eugene, 1983.
  • Sheldon, Henry D. History of University of Oregon (Binford & Mort, 1940), 120.

Newspaper Articles, arranged chronologically:

  • 1916
  • 1950s
    • "60-mph winds, ferocious storm topple tree on Faculty club.," Daily Emerald, 12/10/1951, 1
    • "Faculty club has been home for four past UO presidents," Daily Emerald, 05/15/1952, 1
  • 1960s
    • "Faculty Club remodeling set," Daily Emerald, 01/08/1962, 3
    • "Faculty center to be redone," Daily Emerald, 05/10/1962, 8
    • "Faculty center remodeling starts," Daily Emerald, 09/27/1962, 8
  • 1970s
    • "Day-care urged in Faculty Club," Daily Emerald, 01/23/1970, 2
    • "Holocaust Hotel," Daily Emerald, 04/18/1978, 1
  • 2004