Architectural Renderings: Neo-Classicism to Modernism

Download exhibit brochure

From a castle in the sky~
The exhibit reveals in pen and ink the culmination of the dreams and aspirations of Kenneth A. J. Mackenzie, second Dean of the University of Oregon Medical School. What was initially given the derisive moniker, “Mackenzie's Folly”, enveloped the optimism and hope of this one man: to build a world class medical education center perched high above Portland's busy center.

The “Folly” is immortalized in the merged architectural styles represented in the extraordinary drawing by architect, Ellis F. Lawrence (1879-1946), et al. Though quite different from Lawrence's original interpretation, the dream has come to fruition. From one small seed a great university has emerged.

The illustrations represent various architectural styles and depict campus structures designed by architects, Lawrence and Holford, Burns, Bear, McNeil & Scheider, Campbell Yost Partners, Zimmer, Gunsul, Frasca, Thomas Hacker and Lawrence, Tucker & Wallman and two works by artist [Forrest Cannzeta?]

~ To the Reality
Oregon Health & Science University, formerly known as the University of Oregon Medical School, was established in 1887. Since its founding, it has provided more than 121 years of uninterrupted teaching, research, patient care and community service, and has become a world-class teaching hospital and research center.
Early in Portland's history, several attempts were made to establish a medical school in Portland. In 1864, the Governor and several Portland physicians successfully convinced Willamette University in Salem to move their medical department to Portland. But in 1866, Willamette began efforts to reestablish the medical department in Salem and the officers of the Medical Department in Portland were asked to surrender their charter. In 1886, WUMD made another move from Salem to Portland, but the minutes of the faculty report that on April 8, 1887, schisms among the faculty led to the resignation of many of its strongest members.

It wasn't until the organization of University of Oregon Medical School that medical education finally took a foothold in Portland. Due to the irreparable breech among the faculty of WUMD, the new rival medical school was established on June 16, 1887. The Board of Regents of the University of Oregon granted a charter to a group of physicians, including Kenneth A. J. Mackenzie and first dean, Simeon E. Josephi, both of whom had resigned from the faculty at Willamette. A two-room grocery store was purchased and was moved to property that belonged to Good Samaritan Hospital at 23rd Avenue and Marshall Street. In 1889, it was moved to 23rd Avenue and Lovejoy Street. A new facility was constructed on 23rd and Lovejoy Street in 1893 and was used until it was destroyed by fire in 1919.

The year 1905 marked the beginning of a long period of criticism. Many students failed exams given by the State Board of Examiners and medical societies and journals called for Oregon medical schools to either improve or disband. 

In 1910 the school was criticized by the Flexner report on medical education, but was given a class A rating at a conference in Chicago and was classified among larger medical schools in the East. On May 23, 1913, the struggling WUMD merged with UOMS, and the University of Oregon Medical School became the only medical school north of San Francisco and west of Denver.

In 1912, Kenneth Mackenzie became dean. Under Mackenzie, standards and requirements increased. The University of Oregon Medical School had close connections with St. Vincent, Good Samaritan and the Multnomah County hospitals for teaching clinics. An affiliation with the People's Institute, a clinic for the indigent, resulted in a joint organization, the Portland Free Dispensary.

Soon the school outgrew its facilities. With limited support from the State Legislature and the Board of Regents, school officials explored other funding sources. Mackenzie, chief surgeon for the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company, received an offer of twenty acres of land on Marquam Hill owned by the company. Due to the site's distance from the city center and difficult access, the offer was met with opposition, but the gift was accepted in 1914. The legislature appropriated $50,000 for a new building and $60,000 for maintenance, with a provision that $25,000 be raised elsewhere. In 1915, the city of Portland donated the required $25,000. 

World War I interrupted the building program and many of the faculty and staff were called into active duty.  Mackenzie died in 1920, leaving his dream for the medical school to Richard B. Dillehunt, third dean, who successfully continued to expand campus facilities. In 1921, Mackenzie Hall was erected, and Multnomah County provided funds for a new county hospital adjacent to the new school. Between 1924 and1939, the campus was enlarged by the construction of the Veteran's Bureau Hospital, which continues its vital partnership with the school; the 660' pedestrian bridge, physically uniting the two, bears witness to the union. The formation of the Outpatient Clinic moved patient care and training clinics from the People's Institute and Free Dispensary, in Northwest Portland, to Marquam Hill. The Doernbecher Memorial Hospital for Children, a legacy of the Doernbecher family, was built to provide health care to Oregon's children. The University State Tuberculosis Hospital, built in 1939, was Oregon's only TB hospital for 25 years.  In 1932, the University of Oregon transferred its nursing program to the Medical School campus, renaming it the University of Oregon Medical School Department of Nursing. Gaines Hall, the former Portland Medical Hospital, was purchased in 1943 to serve as a nurse's dormitory.

David W. E. Baird became the fourth dean in 1943. After World War II state funds were available for more staff and new construction projects providing for Baird Hall, The Crippled Children's Division building, and state and federal funds helped to complete the Medical School Hospital. The OHSU School of Dentistry, once known as the North Pacific Dental College, moved its facility to the Marquam Hill campus in 1956, when the University of Oregon School of Dentistry was completed. Within the next decade, the campus was expanded by the addition of the Medical Research Building and the Portland Hearing and Speech Center.

In 1968, Charles N. Holman became dean. Motivated by the need to train more doctors and nurses, he continued to expand campus facilities. In 1974, the University of Oregon Health Sciences Center was founded when the School of Dentistry, the School of Nursing, University Hospital and Clinics, and the Crippled Children's Division merged with the medical school. At this time Dr. Lewis Bluemle was hired as president. The center, under the direction of the Oregon State System of Higher Education, was given the authority to grant degrees independent of the University of Oregon. 

In 1981, by an act of the Legislature, the institution was renamed the Oregon Health Sciences University. In 1983, the Shriner's Hospital for Crippled Children was erected and still serves as a teaching and research facility for the school.

A new decade of development was supported by the merger of the Primate Center after the 1994 Medical Research Foundation merger with the Oregon Health Sciences Foundation and the new Doernbecher Children's Hospital, erected in 1998. Further advancement was marked in 1995 when OHSU became a public corporation, governed by a Board of Directors and separate from the Oregon State System of Higher Education.
Continuing the expansion model, in this decade additional research space and patient care facilities were afforded by the Mark O. Hatfield Research Center and the merger of the OGI School of Science & Engineering, formerly the Oregon Graduate Institute of Science and Technology and the erection of the Biomedical Research Building. Both the Peter A. Kohler Pavilion, on Marquam Hill, and the Center for Health and Healing, in the South Waterfront District, were completed in 2006. CHH was the recipient of the Platinum LEED certification, which demonstrates OHSU's commitment to sustainable green building and development practices.
Expansion continues to this day to facilitate the mission of the Oregon Health & Science University as it has throughout its history: to educate, to discover, to provide quality patient care and to improve the health of all Oregonians.