Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Luther Hall

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Institution Name: Concordia University (OR)
Original/Historic Place Name: Luther Hall
Location on Campus:
Date(s) of Construction:
1948original construction Jones & Marsh
1951west addition
1993East addition
Designer: Jones and Marsh, Portland
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Modern/post-WWII, Contemporary (Glossary)
Significance: education
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: concrete
Walls: reinforced concrete with brick veneer
Roof: flat roof; 1951 addition has composition shingles
1948-present (2006)administration
1948-present (2006)classrooms
ca. 1951chapel (second floor west addition)
1951-1981library (first floor west addition)
1993-present (2006)academic department building (biology and chemistry laboratories)
1993-present (2006)faculty offices
1993-present (2006)auditorium

Construction of the original Luther Hall was completed in 1948 to provide badly needed administrative offices and classroom space as a replacement for a 1907 multipurpose building.

Daily chapel services were conducted over time in various locations, a situation that was deemed less than satisfactory. Daily worship is considered a vital part of the students' spiritual development, and the practice of conducting daily chapel services in various campus locations was eventually deemed unsatisfactory. An addition was therefore constructed on the west end of Luther Hall to provide a chapel on the second floor and a library on the first floor. Concerns over accreditation led to the incorporation of a library in the planning.

The library moved into a new building in 1981; the vacated space was converted to administrative offices.

The building's classrooms, especially the science labs, became inadequate for a growing curriculum. In 1993 an addition was constructed on the east end of the original Luther Hall to provide modern classrooms, biology and chemistry laboratories, an auditorium, and faculty offices. The building, incidentally, was constructed in such as way as to save a large century-old Garry Oak tree growing nearby.

The chapel was no longer adequate for a growing student body, so daily chapel worship was moved to a nearby church. The chapel will be decommissioned so it can be used for other purposes.


Nauss, A. H. "Concordia Academy, Portland Oregon." Concordia Historical Institute Quarterly 25-27.

Weber, E. P. "History of Concordia, Portland: 1905-1995." Concordia Historical Institute Quarterly 71 (1988): 1-19.


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Last update: November 2006