A Vision Fulfilled
September 06, 2011
The new Gregg Pavilion completes the chapel’s original design—and a family’s dream.
Nearly 50 years ago, Paul Thiry, one of the Northwest’s leading architects, created a vision for what would later become the campus chapel. And, in fact, Lewis & Clark dedicated Agnes Flanagan Chapel in 1969. However, his original drawings also included a “meditation chapel,” a smaller adjacent structure that complemented the design of its neighbor.
For a variety of reasons, that portion of his vision was abandoned.
But it was not forgotten. Particularly by Glenn Gregg B.S. ’55.
Back in the 1960s, Glenn had served as Lewis & Clark’s vice president for development. Glenn—along with President John Howard, Dean of Women Freeda Hartzfeld Jones, and Chaplain Roger Juckett—helped secure gifts from Agnes and George Flanagan and other donors to build the main chapel. They succeeded on that front, but for Glenn, the project remained incomplete. He loved to plan and build, and in his mind’s eye, he never lost sight of the chapel’s companion building.
Glenn worked for Lewis & Clark from 1960 to 1993, serving over the years in additional roles such as vice president for finance and senior investment officer. After retiring, he continued to serve as a trustee and life trustee.
Glenn was married to Diane Gearhart Gregg B.A. ’57, whom he had met during his undergraduate years at Lewis & Clark. Diane was a talented musician, who, over the course of her life, played flute and piccolo in the Portland Junior Symphony, Portland (now Oregon) Symphony, and One More Time Around Again Marching Band. She was also a respected elementary school teacher, a volunteer tutor, and active member of her church and neighborhood community. Together, the couple raised two sons, Steve Gregg B.S. ’84 and Tom Gregg.
When Diane became gravely ill and died in September 2007, Glenn felt it was time to fulfill the architect’s original vision of the chapel project. Facing his own diagnosis of terminal cancer, Glenn decided to provide major funding for the chapel addition in honor of his wife. A recent study of Lewis & Clark’s performance venues had confirmed the need for increased space. Later, the college obtained additional gifts from the estate of Margaret Murdy and others to ensure the project’s completion.
Glenn christened the new building the “pavilion.” According to Mark Duntley, dean of the chapel, his name was an inspired choice. “It comes from the Latin root papilio or ‘butterfly,’” he says. “Indeed, his vision for this place emerged from a protected place, like a butterfly from its cocoon.”
The Gregg Pavilion, designed by Boora Architects and built by Walsh Construction, was dedicated on April 17. The pavilion remains true to Thiry’s original plan—it has the same overall size, shape, and footprint. But parts of its design were updated to meet the demands of modern construction and the building’s multiple uses. With movable seating for nearly 140 people, the pavilion easily accommodates small religious gatherings, music and dance performances, lectures, and receptions.
Where the chapel is inwardly focused, Gregg Pavilion is open to the outside world, replete with natural light. The pavilion’s design allows those inside to view the forested grounds and those outside to catch glimpses of the interior.
Glenn Gregg, like his wife, did not live to see the completion of the pavilion—he died in December 2008. However, those who knew the couple are confident they would be pleased with the final result. Lewis & Clark helped bring the Greggs together as a couple. Now the pavilion will bring others together in worship, music, fellowship, and learning.
“The pavilion is so graceful and beautiful,” said Mark Duntley during the building’s dedication ceremony. “It awaits to charm and delight all those who see and enter it.”
Much of the wood in Gregg Pavilion is Douglas Fir, which was milled from five trees that were located where the building now stands. The wood was used for the slat wall in the hallway and the figured screen wall in the middle of the room (which is designed to meet the acoustical needs of the room). A kitchenette enables food preparation for events.
The pavilion extends the exterior palette of the chapel through the use of custom-made brick. To match the existing brick as closely as possible, clay was sourced from manufacturers located in Oregon, California, Utah, and Washington. The colors were inspired by the patterns of Native American textiles.
Shelly Meyer is editor of the Chronicle.