Weatherford Hall is a residence hall
on the Oregon State University
campus. I lived there between the years 1992 and 1993. Right now, it is not used as a residence hall
since it is very old and falling apart.
Weatherford Hall was built in 1928, and until its closure as a residence hall in 1994, it was the oldest operating dorm on the west side of the Mississippi River. Weatherford was an all male residence hall for most of its history, and was not co-ed until the last 3 years of its life. After being used as temporary offices for faculty during the remodel of neighboring Fairbanks Hall, Weatherford was closed permanently in 1995 due to problems with the building infrastructure. The outside of the building is all brick, but the inside is all wood and suffers from some dry rot. The wiring is inadequate to handle the electrical demands of a modern college student and poses a fire hazard. The plumbing is badly corroded and needs to be fixed. The roof leaks in places. The fire escapes are rusty and prone to breaking. The building also needs to be earthquake proofed. Still, people called Weatherford home and loved it dearly.
Weatherford was home to many of the misfits of the campus. Each floor was its own social group, and was very tightly knit, even though most everyone had friends on other floors. I lived on what everyone called “Three Quarters West”. There were four floors in each wing, and a tower in the center. The fourth floor was only half the size of a regular floor, so when floor councils and R.A.’s were assigned, the two floors were lumped together and known as 3-4 West and 3-4 East. I lived in room 345. It turns out that my uncle had lived in that same room about 35 years earlier.
What made Weatherford different than other dorms was the fact that we were given a lot of freedom. Our R.A’s were there more as a formality than anything else. People built huge lofts to take advantage of the high ceilings, and basically create two floors in their rooms. The doors to each room were elaborately painted with different things. Some of the better known ones were Bart Simpson, Henry’s Ale, Kiss, and Satan. Some people thought that walking through Weatherford was like walking through a museum.
One of the things that I remember fondly about Weatherford Hall were the parties. Every year my floor held an annual Mardi Gras party, with tons of booze and beads for everyone. It was wild, but everyone was very respectful of everyone else. It was invitation only, and there were people all over campus that wanted to go to this party, but were not allowed to.
Weatherford was a place of a lot of firsts for me. I lost my virginity there. I smoked my first joint there. I did acid for the first time there. It was one of the first times at OSU that I felt like I could be myself and nobody cared. Everyone on my floor was great, and it felt like a big slumber party a lot of the time. I never had complaints about my neighbors there.
Funds are being raised to renovate Weatherford and use it as a residence hall again. Unfortunately, they are still a few million dollars away from that goal.
I still keep in touch with a lot of people who lived in Weatherford with me. My floor has an email list and I hear from many of those people every day. The list has expanded to include friends and family who didn’t live there, but bonded with everyone else. I have a postcard of Weatherford on the wall of my cubicle.
If you would like to see pictures of Weatherford, please visit: