Mackenzie's Folly: Marquam Hill: The Beginnings

Kenneth A.J. Mackenzie, M.D.

In 1887, the University of Oregon granted a charter to establish a medical school in Portland. The school was first located in a wood frame building in the heart of Northwest Portland. A vision of a new and modern medical facility, away from the noise and pollution of the city, began first in the heart and mind of the second dean of the University, Kenneth A. J. Mackenzie.

Dean Mackenzie, also surgeon of the Oregon Washington Railway, convinced the company to sell a tract of unlikely property to the school. Even though the property, perched high on a tree-studded hill overlooking the city of Portland, first appeared to have little to offer as a campus setting, Mackenzie remarked, "... this tract would make an ideal University and Hospital center." Accessible only by a steep winding road and far from Good Samaritan and St. Vincent Hospitals, Mackenzie's vision was called by many, Mackenzies' folly. But Dean Mackenzie's dream has been realized. The campus is still accessed by narrow winding roads but there now stands a modern health and science university to carry on the teaching, healing and research that Dr. Mackenzie had envisioned. What has grown out of a small rural community of land claims could hardly have been imagined in the early beginnings of "Marquam Hill". 

The History of Medicine exhibit consists of photographs from the Historical Image Collection of the OHSU Historical Collections and Archives.

Medical Science Building