Ellis F. Lawrence

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Ellis F. Lawrence
Born (1879-11-13)November 13, 1879
Malden, Massachusetts, U.S.
Died February 27, 1946(1946-02-27) (aged 66)
Portland, Oregon, U.S.
Nationality American
Occupation Architect
Buildings Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art
Elsinore Theater
East entrance of Knight Library in Eugene, Oregon

Ellis Fuller Lawrence (November 13, 1879 – February 27, 1946) was an American architect who worked primarily in the U.S. state of Oregon. In 1914, he became the co-founder and first dean of the University of Oregon's School of Architecture and Allied Arts, a position he held until his death.

Lawrence concurrently served as campus architect for the University of Oregon and designed many campus buildings, including Knight Library and the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. Lawrence Hall on the university campus (which replaced his Architecture and Art Building of 1923) was named in his honor in 1956.[1] His body of over 500 projects includes churches, residences, commercial and industrial buildings, funerary buildings, multi-family residences, and public buildings.

In 1988, the private residence he designed for Thomas A. Livesley, a prominent Salem, Oregon businessman and civic leader, was purchased through private donations and donated to the state and now serves as the Governor's official residence (Mahonia Hall).[2]


Ellis F. Lawrence was born in Malden, Massachusetts and received his secondary education at Phillips Academy, Andover, graduating in 1897. He received both his bachelor's and master's degrees at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the first school of architecture in the United States. After graduation in 1902, Lawrence worked for several architectural firms then traveled in Europe. He was employed by the Boston architectural firm Codman & Despradelle in 1905.

In 1906, Codman & Despradelle (Boston), sent Lawrence to San Francisco to commence work there, but the 1906 San Francisco earthquake convinced him to stay in Portland, Oregon where he had stopped on the way. He lived in Portland the rest of his life and commuted to his work as dean and campus architect in Eugene.[3]

He was associated with several Oregon-based architecture firms: MacNaughton, Raymond & Lawrence (1906–1910); Lawrence & Holford (1913–1928); Lawrence, Holford, Allyn & Bean (1928–1933); and Lawrence, Holford, & Allyn (1933–1941). Lawrence's final partnership, Lawrence & Lawrence (1944–1946), was with his son, Henry Abbott Lawrence.

Buildings designed by Lawrence[edit]

Detail of Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art entrance

On the National Register of Historic Places[edit]

Eugene, Oregon[edit]

Portland, Oregon[edit]

Interior of the Elsinore Theatre

Other Oregon NRHP structures[edit]

Other buildings[edit]

McArthur Court

See also[edit]


  • Harmony in Diversity : The Architecture and Teaching of Ellis F. Lawrence. Edited by Michael Shellenbarger ; essays by Kimberly K. Lakin, Leland M. Roth, Michael Shellenbarger. Eugene, Or.: Museum of Art and the Historic Preservation Program, School of Architecture and Allied Arts, University of Oregon, 1989.
  • Ritz, Richard Ellison. "Lawrence, Ellis Fuller," Architects of Oregon; A Biographical Dictionary of Architects Deceased—19th and 20th Centuries. Portland, OR: Lair Hill Publishing, 2002.

External links[edit]