Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Canyon/Reed Lake

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Institution Name: Reed College
Original/Historic Place Name: Canyon/Reed Lake
Location on Campus:
Date(s) of Construction:
n.d.natural landscape
Type of Place: Landscape site
Style: (Glossary)
Significance: culture, landscape
Narrative: see below
References: see below
ca. 2004-present (2006)outdoor space

Reed Lake and its surrounding landscape provide a rustic natural setting in the middle of the 100-acre Reed College campus. Campus development has occurred on both sides of the lake, with the majority of the dorms dominating one side. The two sides are connected by a 310-foot long pedestrian bridge. Johnson Creek was originally dammed to form the Lake in Reed's early days. A fish ladder was built much later. An outdoor amphitheatre with wooden seats is built into the hill on one side and is used for performances and other events (graduation ceremonies used to take place here). This natural feature is preserved and monitored by the Reed faculty and students and is also used as an outdoor classroom.


Danielson, Eleanor Arlene. "A Study of the Diatoms in Reed College Lake." B. A. thesis, Reed College, 1951.

Lesseg, Maxine. "A Study of Cladocera Based on Forms Found in Reed College Lake." B. A. thesis, Reed College, 1933.

Mason, David Thomas. "An Investigation of the Environment and Nature of the Sediments of Reed Lake." B. A. thesis, Reed College, 1958.

Ritz, Richard E. A History of the Reed College Campus and Its Buildings. Portland, OR: Trustees of the Reed Institute, 1990.


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Last update: November 2006