College Hill

Eugene City, Lane County, OR

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College Hill

The Residential Architecture in Eugene Oregon, 1850 to 1950, Multiple Property Submission (MPS) was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2000. Portions of the content on this web page were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document. [‡]

The College Hill neighborhood is located south of the Jefferson neighborhood. It is situated between Willamette Street on the east and Monroe Street on the west, and between West 18th and 19th Avenues on the north and West 23rd Avenue on the south. College Hill is named for Columbia College, which was established in 1856 and built on this hill. The college was short-lived, however, lasting only about four 4-1/2 years, during which time it was burned to the ground twice. [*]

The earliest residential development on College Hill consisted of a few farmhouses, including the Masterson House (2050 Madison Street) which was built in 1857. In 1890, J.F. Atherton purchased a portion of Eben Stewart's farm for residential development. Hoping to attract professionals to the area, he named the addition College Hill Park. Hendrick's Addition to College Hill was platted in 1891. These two additions make up most of the neighborhood and were annexed to the City of Eugene in 1903. A number of small additions and subdivisions were later platted along the north and east sides of the area, expanding the neighborhood by several blocks.

The majority of residential development in the neighborhood occurred between about 1900 and 1925. Advertised as the "Nob Hill" of Eugene, the area attracted many professionals and was a fashionable place to live. There are many Bungalows and 20th Century Revival style houses in the neighborhood and almost all were constructed as single-family homes. A number were designed by local architects and builders. The neighborhood was attractive to many because of its access to downtown via the streetcar system. From 1891 to 1900, the mule-drawn trolley line ran along Lincoln Street to West 22nd Avenue, then along Jefferson Street for one block to West 21st Avenue and then west to Friendly Street. The electric street railway's College Crest loop, which began in 1910, traveled along Willamette Street on the east edge of the College Hill neighborhood and along Jefferson Street and West 19th Avenue through the west portion of the neighborhood. In addition to access via the streetcars, the neighborhood was bounded by two major transportation routes: Willamette Street from downtown to points south and 19th Avenue as a county road to points east and west.

Commercial development in the area was limited to a small cluster of businesses along the edge of the neighborhood on Willamette Street. The largest non-residential development was the Eugene General Hospital (built in 1906 and renamed Mercy Hospital after being sold to the Catholic Sisters of Mercy in 1912), located between Willamette and Olive Streets south of West 20th Avenue. The building was razed in 1940.

There are currently no properties in this neighborhood listed on the National Register. There are a number of houses that potentially may be eligible for listing as individual resources. A portion of the neighborhood has also been identified as having district potential for its residential architecture and for its association with the trolley line. Development pressures in this neighborhood are limited to a small amount of development along Willamette Street.

* A Brief Walking History and Walking Tour of College Hill. City of Eugene Planning and Development Department, March 1990.

‡ Michelle L. Dennis, Historic Preservation Consultant, Residential Architecture in Eugene Oregon, 1850 to 1950, nomination document, 2000, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.

Street Names
19th Avenue West • 20th Avenue West • 21st Avenue West • 22nd Avenue West • 23rd Avenue West • Chamelton Alley • Chamelton Street • Grand View Drive • Jefferson Alley • Jefferson Street • Lawrence Street • Lincoln Street • Madison Street • McMillan Street • Monroe Street • Olive Street • Washington Alley • Washington Street • Willamette Street

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