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Autographed beams celebrate landmark ‘green’ project

February 12, 2001

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    Law school alumni, faculty, staff and students garner a place in history as crews bolt signed beams into position in the new wing of the Paul L. Boley Law Library at Lewis & Clark Law School.

It’s one thing to autograph a yearbook. It’s quite another thing to autograph steel beams.

A mammoth crane hoisted two huge autographed beams (one was 35 feet long and the other was 17 feet long) three stories into the air and into place, Jan. 31. The event celebrated a landmark “green” construction project at Lewis & Clark Law School.

“When we began construction last summer, we decided to forego the traditional ground breaking,” explains James Huffman, dean of the law school. “Instead, law school alumni, faculty, staff and students took out their silver-paint pens and autographed two steel I-beams. Those autographed beams, now a permanent part of the new building, symbolize our past and our future.”

The beams, made of recycled steel, weigh more than 2 tons.

The $15-million project will give the Paul L. Boley Law Library a new technology-based infrastructure and 40,000 square feet of additional space.

Boley Library houses the U.S. Patent Law Depository, which generates more than 6,000 requests for information each year. It holds one of the West Coast’s outstanding tax and estate-planning collections, the Johnson Public Land Law Collection, and the best environmental and natural resources law collections in the country. It also houses all congressional documents since 1970, U.S. Senate and U.S. House reports, U.S. Supreme Court briefs, Oregon appellate briefs and extensive computerized legal data bases.

The design firm is Soderstrom Architects, and the general contractor is Hoffman Construction of Oregon. The law school expects to complete the project by spring semester 2002.

The law school is funding the project with grants from Meyer Memorial Trust and M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust and from gifts provided by alumni and friends of the College.

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