Johnson Hall

Photo: 2006. Building Oregon.

Photo: 1918. Note Sundial at left, Kincaid Field at right. Building Oregon.


Architect: William C. Knighton.  Builder: Boyajohn Arnold.
Date: 1915
Location: 1098 E. 13th Ave.  Google Maps location.
Size:  3 stories. 32,174 sf.


Built at a cost of $100,000, the Administration Building opened in 1915. It was the last campus building designed by an architect other than Ellis Lawbefore Ellis Lawrence became campus architect.  Originally the building housed, in addition to administrative functions, the Condon Geological Collection, as well as the 200-seat Guild Theater. The architect, William Christmas Knighton, was Oregon's State Architect and responsible for several significant works in Oregon, including Deepwood, the historic home near Salem and the Governor's Hotel, Portland. Original interior decorative details included a magnificent skylight which covered the entire center of building and was made of stained glass by the Povey Brothers of Portland. (The Povey Bros also designed the glass of First Church, downtown Eugene.) Terracotta details from this building include the UO Logo.  Knighton's iconic inverted keystone design which he used in several buildings can also be seen in Johnson Hall.  In 1918, the building was named for UO's first president John Wesley Johnson (b.1836-d.1898). Glenn Stanton, an architecture student, designed in 1919 the bronze sign which is inside the building. A major renovation in 1949 eliminated Guild Theater whose function was replaced by the the University Theater, later named Robinson Theater, which was grotesquely attached to historic Villard Hall.  The glass panels of the skylight were dispersed.  A renovation in 1998 by Don Peting's historic preservation students placed some of the stained glass panels in the principal meeting room of Johnson Hall and others can be seen in a hallway on the second floor of Lawrence Hall. Johnson Hall was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.


Books & Parts of Books

Ellis Lawrence Building Survey. v.2 (Eugene). Compiled by the Historic Preservation Program, School of Architecture and Allied Arts, University of Oregon ; project directors, Michael Shellenbarger, Kimberly Lakin. [Salem, Or.] : State Historic Preservation Office, [1989].

Heald, Leslie S. History and Preservation of Stained Glass in the Pacific Northwest : the Povey Bros. Glass Co. of Portland, Oregon. Thesis, Univ. of Oregon, 1999.

Journal, Magazine Articles (arranged by date)"

Johnson Hall." Old Oregon 32 no.4 (Apr. 1951): full page ill.

Newspaper Articles (arranged by date)


"Architecture to be Grecian, Improvements for four buildings planned by architect Knighton", Daily Emerald, 02/28/1913, 9.

"Start building before June 10," Daily Emerald, 05/09/1914, 8, il.

"Building will be best of its kind, Administration Building", Daily Emerald, 09/22/1914, 1.

"New buildings to have model theatre," Daily Emerald, 11/14/1914, 3.

"Building done in May," Daily Emerald, 01/09/1915, 4.

"Dedication program to begin festivities," Daily Emerald, 11/16/1915, 1.

"Bronze tablet here for Johnson Hall, Inscription commemorating memory of Oregon's first president to be placed", Daily Emerald, 11/22/1919, 1.


"Grass square added to Johnson approach," Daily Emerald, 02/04/1939, 3.


"Johnson basement floods Wednesday," Daily Emerald, 11/16/1950, 1.

"Johnson Hall to receive renovation," Daily Emerald, 01/10/1951, 5.

"Johnson Hall blackboards antidote to student boredom," Daily Emerald, 04/05/1951, 8.

"Sometimes progress is deafening, destruction of Guild theater in Johnson Hall", Daily Emerald, 07/23/1952, 1, il.

"Former theater to become offices," Daily Emerald, 09/26/1952, 6.

"Johnson's office moved from Fenton, (Eldon L.)", Daily Emerald, 01/16/1953, 6.

"Work continues in Johnson Hall," Daily Emerald, 02/05/1953, 1.

"Glass seal stored,"Deady, Johnson halls remodeled", Daily Emerald, 03/12/1953, II: 8.

"Board to ask law makers for addition to Johnson Hall, (State Board of Higher Education)", Daily Emerald, 10/11/1955, 1, il.


"North parking opposed by planning committee," Daily Emerald, 02/27/1970, 4.

"Students take Johnson Hall; stay all night," Daily Emerald, 04/23/1970, 1.

"Strike declared, 61 arrested," Daily Emerald, 04/24/1970, 1.

"Two arrested for strike sit-in,"(Jeffrey Freed, Ralph Nussbaum)", Daily Emerald, 04/29/1970, 1.

"Conduct during sit-in debated," Daily Emerald, 05/01/1970, 6.

"Explosion jars Johnson Hall," Daily Emerald, 12/01/1970, 1.

"Bombing investigation finds dynamite used," Daily Emerald, 12/02/1970, 1.

"Johnson Hall, bank windows added to rock throwers list," Daily Emerald, 12/08/1970, 4.

"35 windows at Johnson Hall don screens," Daily Emerald, 01/19/1971, 1.

"Small fire damages Johnson Hall," Daily Emerald, 02/01/1971, 3.

"Glass broken near building," Daily Emerald, 05/02/1972, 5.

"Bids set to reopen, (bids for cooling system)", Daily Emerald, 05/15/1972, 4.


Restoration Project.  UO News & Views, 10 Oct. 1998.


Page author:  Edward H. Teague.