Campus Planning


Memorial Quad

Memorial Quadrangle, c. 1940


  • 1914. UO Campus Plan. Architect: Ellis F. Lawrence.
    Commissioned by the Board of Regents to develop a campus plan, the April 1914 design by Ellis Lawrence featured buildings in symmetrical groups with common open spaces organized along vertical and horizontal axes. Lawrence's campus was aligned toward the west, away from the existing cluster of buildings (Deady, Villard, McClure, Mechanical Hall, Gym). Lawrence's later buildings on the major quadrangle and in the minor groups follow the architectural styles proposed in his 1914 plan. Michael Shellenbarger, editor of the survey of Lawrence's work, called the plan "the firm foundation from which Lawrence over 32 financially difficult years built a campus of unusual charm and serviceability." Lawrence developed two major revisions to the plan in 1923 & 1932.
    • "Plans for University," Oregonian 7/12/14: 12; Oregana, 1915/16, p. 308
    • Shellenbarger, Michael, et al. Ellis Lawrence Building Survey. v.1-7. University of Oregon, 1989.
  • 1923. Campus Plan by Lawrence & Holford.
  • 1930s. In 1933 the National Industrial Recovery Act was created in the depths of the Depression to stimulate the economy through various jobs programs. It authorized the Public Works Administration (PWA) which, during its existence 1933-39, spent about $4 billion constructing 70 percent of the nations' new educational buildings; 65 percent of its new municipal buildings and sanitary structures; 35 percent of its new public-health facilities; and 10 percent of all new transportation structures. As the nation moved into a war economy, beginning in 1939, the PWA was gradually ended. The PWA and its related art programs funded UO's building program from the mid-1930s to the end of the decade.
  • 1970. In 1970, UO interviewed prospective consultants to facilitate a new campus planning initiative. The Center for Environmental Structure (Berkeley) was selected. The Center's director, Christopher Alexander, had become known as a planning innovator and had recently published A Pattern Language Which Generates Multi-Service Centers (The Center, 1968) which described a new approach to planning. That approach is based on user participation, respect for piecemeal growth, and use of 'patterns' or principles as opposed to schematic object-oriented grids.
  • 1973. "Planners Adopt Oregon Experiment," Oregon Daily Emerald 25 Oct. 1973: 1.
  • 1975. Christopher Alexander's The Oregon Experiment (Oxford Univ. Pr., 1975) is published. The book describes the 'pattern language' planning approach adopted at the University of Oregon.
  • 1991. A revised Long Range Campus Development Plan is established.
    Online Document: Long Range Campus Development Plan, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon.
  • 1992. Christopher Ramey becomes Director, University Planning, and Architect.
  • 2003.  University adopts the updated Development Policy for the East Campus Area.  Planner:  Christine Thompson.
  • 2005. New Campus Plan replaces Long Range Campus Development Plan.  Planner:  Christine Thompson.
  • 2008.  Campus Heritage Landscape Plan completed.
  • 2012.  UO adopts the Oregon Model for Sustainable Development, which replaces the UO Sustainable Development Plan.  Planner:  Christine Thompson.


University Documents

Books and Parts of Books

  • Alexander, Christopher, et al. The Oregon Experiment. New York : Oxford University Press, 1975.
  • Leu, Chin-Wen. Ten Years' Experience with the Oregon Experiment: An Analysis and Critiique of a Campus Planning Process. Univ. of Oregon Architecture Dept. Thesis, 1985.


  • Pattern Language, This site describes the 'pattern language' concept, provides information about Christopher Alexander, and lists Alexander's publications.

Newspaper Articles (Arranged Chronologically)

  • 1920s
    • "Plans detailed of new campus," Daily Emerald, 04/05/1924, 1
  • 1940s
    • "Building plans under discussion," Daily Emerald, 04/29/1944, 1
    • "Little presents remodeling in post war campus article," Daily Emerald, 09/21/1948, 2
    • "Emerald reporter finds beautiful campus model in dark basement of Johnson hall, investigates," Daily Emerald, 10/02/1948, 2
    • 1950s
    • "UO model shows 15-year-old plans," Daily Emerald, 05/18/1953, 2
  • 1960s
    • "More student voice," Daily Emerald, 10/22/1962, 2
    • "Group expells Emerald again," Daily Emerald, 11/19/1965, 1
    • "What are they afraid of?," Daily Emerald, 11/22/1965, 6
    • "Funds asked for beautification project," Daily Emerald, 07/26/1966, 4
    • "Campus planners worry over space, Parking lack.," Daily Emerald, 09/20/1966, 12
    • "Planning group ok's new parking meters," Daily Emerald, 09/27/1966, 7
    • "Planning committee offered architect selection plan," Daily Emerald, 12/02/1966, 3
    • "By Flemming: Sites chosen for Law, AAA.," Daily Emerald, 01/11/1967, 1
    • "Architecture building plan hotly debated," Daily Emerald, 01/19/1967, 1
    • "This is planning?," Daily Emerald, 02/14/1967, 6
    • "Campus Planning Committee approves handball courts," Daily Emerald, 02/17/1967, 7
    • "Planning committee weighs concessions," Daily Emerald, 03/01/1967, 5
    • "Campus planning discusses building," Daily Emerald, 03/29/1967, 8
    • "Planners dislike proposed split," Daily Emerald, 04/07/1967, 1
    • "Another case of foot dragging," Daily Emerald, 04/24/1967, 6
    • "Split approved for committee," Daily Emerald, 04/27/1967, 1
    • "Campus planning still undecided," Daily Emerald, 05/05/1967, 2
    • "Planning committee proposes triple split," Daily Emerald, 05/10/1967, 3
    • "Planning group split confirmed," Daily Emerald, 05/15/1967, 1
    • "Increase in rent may run buses," Daily Emerald, 05/19/1967, 11
    • "Planning group changes again," Daily Emerald, 07/25/1967, 1
    • "Candidates offered for planning advisor," Daily Emerald, 11/06/1967, 2
    • "Committee sets building system," Daily Emerald, 10/02/1968, 3
    • "Dorm recreation center considered by committee," Daily Emerald, 11/01/1968, 8
    • "Focus supplement," Daily Emerald, 02/14/1969, supp.
    • "Committee studies traffic proposals," Daily Emerald, 04/02/1969, 7
  • 1970s
    • "Utility study support given," Daily Emerald, 02/06/1970, 2
    • "North parking opposed by planning committee," Daily Emerald, 02/27/1970, 4
    • "Interviews begin to find long-range campus planner," Daily Emerald, 08/06/1970, 5
    • Office of Planning and Institutional Research, "Consultant being sought for campus planning," Daily Emerald, 07/21/1970, 4
    • "Housing directors, biologists vie for plot. [Foster-Silva Property]," Daily Emerald, 08/13/1970, 3
    • "Creation of a university plan, commentary", Daily Emerald, 04/20/1971, 5
    • "Planning the future of the campus," Daily Emerald, 12/09/1971, 9
    • "Planning group discusses land," Daily Emerald, 01/15/1971, 2
    • "Creation of a university plan [commentary]," Daily Emerald, 04/20/1971, 5
    • "New approach to campus planning stresses development for 'users'," Daily Emerald, 04/23/1971, 5
    • "Planning group seeks student ideas," Daily Emerald, 10/20/1971, 7
    • "Long range planning discussed," Daily Emerald, 11/12/1971, 3
    • "Planning committee hears proposed building estimates," Daily Emerald, 11/29/1971, 1
    • "Committee adopts 2 motions on plan report," Daily Emerald, 07/06/1972, 8
    • "Campus planning committee adopts 2 motions on plan report," Daily Emerald, 07/06/1972, 8
    • "University Transport plan aired in public meetings," Daily Emerald, 05/18/1973, 3
    • "Campus planning wants formation of parking committee," Daily Emerald, 11/05/1975, 11
    • "Students miss out on campus plans," Daily Emerald, 11/26/1975, 7
  • 2000 +
    • "Revisions to the Campus Plan Underway." Inside Oregon 18 Feb. 2005. Full-text.
    • Cuniff, Meghann M. "Paving the Way for Growth; the University's Expansion into th eEast Campus Area Has Caused Mixed Sentiment." Daily Emerald 7 Mar. 2005: 1+.
    • Cuniff, Meghann M. "Campus's Long-Range Plan Nears Final Stage; the Building and Development Project Awaits University President Dave Frohmayer's Approval." Daily Emerald 25 May 2005: 1, 8.

Page author:  Edward H. Teague,