June 8, 1911 saw the groundbreaking for Christie Hall, named for Archbishop Alexander Christie of the Portland Archdiocese, founder of Columbia University (renamed the University of Portland in 1935). When the campus property purchased in 1901 from the University Land Company, the terms called for the construction within ten years of a major building. A huge athletic field house had been built in 1903, large enough for indoor track meets and even baseball games, but Christie Hall would be the building which officially satisfied the terms of the sale. The archbishop himself turned the first shovelful of earth, and photographs show him, shovel in hand, towering above the gathered boys and faculty. Aerial photographs from the time show West (now Waldschmidt) Hall, Christie Hall, and the Columbia Colosseum huddled together on the mostly blank campus; Christie and West Halls survive, but the colosseum, which was located roughly where Howard Hall and the Pilot House are now, collapsed during a winter storm in 1927.
For more history from this week, see the University of Portland Almanac at www.up.edu/almanac/.