THE ARCHITECTURE OF THE UNIVERSITY OF OREGON
Architect: Lawrence and Holford.
Left: Drill Hall, adjacent to Men's Gymnasium (Oregana 1918). Right: Top of picture, Gymnasium addition, adapted from the Drill Hall, adjacent to the Men's Gymnasium.
A month before the United States entered World War I, the University of Oregon requested the War Department for an officer to direct military training and began planning for a drill hall. A retired US Cavalry officer began drill training in December 1917, and in January 1918, Lieutenant Colonel John Leader, a veteran of the Somme, arrived and became Commandant. Design work on the Drill Hall began in March 1917 and construction was completed the following August.
After the war, the Drill Hall was converted to an open-air gymnasium (1919), a second floor, offices and showers were added (1921), and it was enclosed for handball courts (1926).
The building was razed in 1935 to make way for building the new infirmary (now Volcanology). The adjacent Men's Gymnasium was eventually razed to make room for Columbia Hall.
According to Michael Shellenbarger, "The Drill Hall illustrates Lawrence's ability to combine a basically utilitarian approach with handsome proportions and some decorative embellishment that elevated the building beyond the ordinary." The Drill Hall was one of only five major UO structures designed by Lawrence which no longer exist.
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Page author: Edward H. Teague. Updated June 20, 2016.