"Every time a student walks past a really urgent, expressive piece of architecture that belongs to
his college, it can help reassure him that he does have that mind, does have that soul." Louis Kahn
Lewis and Clark College is a small liberal-arts institution in a stunning location. It began life as a Presbyterian college (chartered 1867) in Albany. Making the move to Portland, the college rented classes from the Temple Beth Israel School downtown, before moving to the Frank Manor House in 1942. At a purchase price of $46,000, this was a great deal, as the manor house and gardens had cost $1.3 million to build nearly twenty years previously. While the Lewis and Clark campus can't compete with Reed College for having an architectural cohesion to its parts, it does possess some outstanding highlights
Frank Manor House, 1926
a.k.a. Odell Manor, Fir Acres
Architect: Herman Brookman
Anti-Semitism was a contributing factor to the construction of this beautiful building, which was once the city's most impressive private estate. The Frank family (of Meier & Frank) made this building their own cultural oasis, in response to the Portland clubs that snubbed them because of their Judaism. Herman Brookman (who also designed Temple Beth Israel) was commissioned for the design, and this building was the dramatic result. Although the style of the Manor House is markedly different from that of the Byzantine Temple Beth Israel, the two buildings share an extraordinary quality of work and attention to detailing.
This lavish English Tudor/French chateau-style residence is eminently suited for its location. Its two wings are angled for garden viewing in the back, and where the wings meet in the front is a delightful turret to the north. Inside, there are seven fireplaces and impressive touches of carved stone and wood. Take your time for a slow walk through, and around; this is one building that is sure to reward your eye. Inside, check for plaster ceiling animals, carved oak over the doorways, and excellent metal work.
* Another fun (if surreal) touch: Note the silverware drawer in the twelfth step up to the second floor of the grand staircase.
Outside, the undulating slate roof alone is worthy of contemplation as one delays cramming for those final exams. In the east side's formal garden, the view of Mount Hood actually looks like it does in the city's often hyperbolic promotional artwork.
Agnes Flanagan Chapel, 1969
Architect: Paul Thiry
This sixteen-sided chapel emerges from the trees, rising dramatically upwards from a wide base. Northwest architect Thiry (who also designed the Aubrey R. Watzek Library on campus) designed a beautiful building, and its rustic nature is perfectly captured when it is approached from the campus side. Walking to the entrance on the walkway/bridge means a closer look at the chapel's Native American guardian statues, which were done by Lelooska in honor of Christian evangelists. Inside, the chapel resembles an amphitheater as much as a church, with circular seating around the center creating an interactive and yet intimate space appropriate for spiritual or concert purposes.
* Take a walk over to the Northwestern School of Law (2002, Soderstrom Architects) to see an interesting complex of buildings.
Hamilton Corbett House, 1929
a.k.a. the Franciscan Renewal Center, Our Lady of Angels Convent
Architect: Pietro Belluschi/Landscape Architect: Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr.
At the turnaround for the South Campus is the Hamilton Corbett House, a forty-room former residence that looks out to the east on Tryon Creek State Park. The huge (over 20,000 square feet) French chateau/pile-o'-bricks was never quite finished; in fact, its original plans called for an attic ballroom.
Pietro Belluschi drew those plans up, and he reportedly really wanted to stretch his wings with this, his first solo residential project. But he reported feeling stifled by Mrs. Corbett's precise notions of what she wanted " and what she wanted was a lot of brick. In 1942, the behemoth was sold to the Franciscan Sisters to serve as their new novitiate. They remodeled the former residence twice and added other buildings to the grounds before selling the whole thing to Lewis and Clark in 2000.Less Text