Museum of Natural and Cultural History


Location: 1680 E. 15th St.

Architect: Ratcliff Architects

See the exterior sculpture associated with this site.


The Oregon State Legislative Assembly created the Oregon State Museum of Anthropology (OSMA) at the UO in 1935, under the direction of archaeologist Luther Cressman. In 1936, the Condon Museum and State Museum of Anthropology were folded into the newly created UO Museum of Natural History, also directed by Luther Cressman. The museum's collections were initially housed in Condon Hall and then UO Building 34, 1234 Franklin Blvd., which is now part of Onyx Bridge.


  • 1987. The museum building was dedicated on Dec. 12, 1987, with Native American rituals. The former building, housed in one of the structures now under Onyx Bridge, was partially razed to make room for the new science complex and grounds. The anthropological collections have had other campus locations throughout their history. Funding for the science complex partly supported creating the museum structure at a new site. Percent for Art work for the Museum included the first architecturally-integrated sculpture since Allen Hall's plaques of 1954.
  • 2004. The name of the museum changes to Museum of Natural and Cultural History in July 2004.
  • 2004. Interior renovation. Engineers: Balzhiser and Hubbard Engineers; Bill Shaw, design architect. Gallery spaces: Presentation Design Group. Murals: Don Prechtel. Project Planner: Chris Ramey. The museum closed during the renovation.
    Project Manager: Ken Blanchard.
  • 2005. On Feb. 11, the renovated museum hosted a grand opening.
  • 2006.  Collections Wing Addition: Conceptual plans commissioned.
  • 2007 (Fall). Collections Wing Addition: Robertson/Sherwood Architects commissioned to design.  2G Construction, Inc., was the contractor.
  • 2008 (Fall).  Collections Wing Addition groundbreaking, August 6, 2008.
  • 2009 (Summer).  Collections Wing Addition opened and added 6,600 square feet to the museum.  The cost was $2,500,000.



Journal Articles

  • "Museum of Natural History," Old Oregon 65 no.4 (June 1986): drawing.

News Articles (Arranged by Date)

The Oregon Daily Emerald, Register-Guard (Eugene), UO News, Inside Oregon, and other resources provide online full-text for many articles. Connect to their website and search their archives to see if a full-text version of citations below are available. Some links are provided below.

  • "History Museum Reopens after 13 Months' Renovation." Oregon Daily Emerald 14 Feb. 2005, 1. Full-text.
  • "UO Museum of Natural and Cultural History to Unveil Million-Dollar Exhibition." UO News. Feb. 2005. Full-text.
  • Balingit, Moriah. "In Brief: History museum resurfaces with flair after renovations." Oregon Daily Emerald 11 Feb. 2005, 1.
    Describes grand opening of renovated museum, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Feb. 11, 2005.
  • Bolt, Greg. "Window on the Past Reopens." Register-Guard 10 Feb. 2005, 1. col. ill.
  • "Oregon History Comes Alive." Inside Oregon 31 Jan. 2005. Full-text.
  • "New Museum of Natural History Building." Register Guard 11 Dec. 1986, 1D.

Page author: Ed Teague

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