Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Pennington House

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Institution Name: George Fox University
Original/Historic Place Name: Pennington House
Location on Campus: 1000 Sheridan St.
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1899original construction Unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style(s): (Glossary)
Foundation: concrete stem wall on concrete footing
Walls: wood stud (exterior); lap sheathing (exterior, facing); lathe and plaster (interior)
Roof: cedar shake; wood skip sheathing; wood rafters (2 x 6)
1899-1993private residence
1993-present (2007)administration (offices for Alumni, Church, and Parent Relations)

Significance: architecture, education, history
Landmark designation:
Narrative: see below
References: see below

For nearly six decades, the address of 1000 Sheridan Street has been almost synonymous with George Fox College (now University). The Dutch Colonial-style house, constructed in 1899, is the former home of University president Levi T. Pennington, who lived at that address from 1917 to the end of his presidency in 1941. His 30-year tenure that began in 1911 is believed to be the longest for an Oregon college president. When he died at the age of 99 in 1975, he was still living in the home. After his retirement, for the next 34 years, he continued to write--and write: in all, more than 50,000 letters at the rate of 1,000 to 1,500 per year. They all had what became nearly a trademark for the longtime educator, lecturer, minister, humanitarian, and presidential confidant: his name in small black type at the upper left. On the next line was the familiar 1000 Sheridan Street. Even at his death, the address was so strongly identified with Pennington that the opening line of the printed memorial service program started: "1000 East Sheridan was the Newberg home…". The program recalled that many "remember vividly the comfortable residence with the large yard where President Pennington and his gracious wife, Rebecca, so often entertained." Former President Herbert Hoover was among the visitors to the house, part of a friendship that spanned more than 50 years. Their relationship grew until they became fishing partners as their time would allow. Hoover shared in confidence details of his political career that few ever knew. Declining to ever reveal the nature of their talks, Pennington kept the confidence to his death. Purchased by the University in 1993 to make it a permanent part of campus, Pennington House is being maintained without exterior changes and with restricted interior changes. It now serves as the office for Alumni, Church, and Parent Relations.

I. Bibliographic sources:

Beebe, Ralph K. George. A Heritage to Honor, A Future to Fulfill: George Fox College, 1891-1991. Newberg, OR: Barclay Press, 1991.

Newberg (OR) Graphic, July 1, 1892.

Oregon State Historic Preservation Office. Minthorn Hall [George Fox University]. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1997.

II. Location of other data:
University: Special Collections, Unknown
—details: Archives, George Fox University.
Government Offices

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