Commerce Hall, 1920s

Gilbert Hall, 2004


(Commerce Hall, Gilbert Hall)
955 E. 13th St.  (Lillis Business Complex)
Architect: Lawrence & Holford.
Contributors: F. H. Miles, Portland, superintendent for foundations;  J. E. Milligan, superintendent for construction; Lanning & Hoggan, Portland (General, Brickwork); Rushlight & Hastorf (Heating) ; Alaska Plumbing & Heating Co . (Plumbing) ; Willamina Brickyard (Brick) ; J .C . English Co ., Portland (Lighting Fixtures) ; N . Clark & Sons (Terra Cotta).
Style: Mediterranean; Modernized Byzantine


Design for Commerce Hall began in January 1920 and construction ended in August 1921.   Commerce Hall and Education Hall were designed by Ellis F. Lawrence to be the twin "entry pylons" for the  campus quadrangle. They were the first two of the six buildings which built on the quadrangle.  Commerce Hall is nearly identical in appearance to Education Hall designed in 1916.  Except for alteration to the front stairs and the truncation of the entry gabled parapets of both buildings, and the addition which joined them, the appearance of both is nearly as-built.

Commerce Hall was joined to the Education building in 1951 by an addition named Commonwealth Hall. The Commerce and Education buildings were named Gilbert Hall (East) and Gilbert Hall (West). At that time, the gabled parapet was removed and the stairs altered.

Gilbert Hall was renamed Anstett Hall in honor of Hope Anstett and her late husband, Joseph, who died in 2008. The plaza surrounded formed by Lillis Hall, Peterson Hall, and Anstett Hall was renamed Gilbert Hall, in honor of James Gilbert, professor of economics and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences during the first half of the twentieth century.


Watercolor by Hollis Johnson, dated 1/28/20 (EF Lawrence Collection , UO Libraries Special Collections & University Archives.
Construction drawings by Eyler Brown & Ormond Bean, June 1920 , (UO Physical Plant vault)
Lawrence Archives, UO Libraries Special Collections & University Archives.

Pacific Builder & Engineer, 7/9/20 p5, 7/23/20 p5, 7/30/20 p27, 8/6/20 p4
Oregon Daily Emerald, 2/16/21 p3, 9/29/21 pl "Many Changes in Buildings
Daily Record-Abstract, Portland 7/5/20 p1, 7/14/20 pl, 8/3/20 p1.


Page author:  Edward H. Teague.  Updated: 24 Feb. 2013