Millar Library

Millar Library Font Elevation & Copper Beech Tree
Building Code 
1875 SW Park Avenue Portland, Oregon 97201-3220
Year Built 
1968; 1991

The Branford P. Millar Library is located between SW 10th Avenue and SW Park Avenue, and the right of way for SW Harrison and Hall Streets positioned North of the Peter Stott Center and South of Blackstone Hall.

Building naming history:
Branford Price Millar Library (ML), 1969-present
Library West (LIBW), 1967-1969

The Millar Library was built in two major phases. In phase 1, completed January 19, 1968 for $3 million, architects Skidmore, Ownings & Merrill designed the library as a rectangular structure oriented roughly north and south along the east side of 10th Avenue. The phase 2 addition began in 1988 and was completed in November 1991 for $11 million. The addition expanded the building east and incorporated a convex wall of glass designed to surround a historic copper beech tree (Fagus sylvatica f. purpurea). The addition's exterior is very different from that of the original structure; in 1986 the stated reason for this was that structural codes had changed since the original construction with the result being the new structure needed to brace the old one and thus apparently making it impossible to continue with a similar looking exterior wall system. A final third phase would have added an additional four floors onto the existing five floors but was never enacted.

The original library building, known simply as the Library, was located in what is now the northeastern portion of Smith Center (originally College Center). As Portland State College expanded into a University the need for a larger research library became pressing. Because the Library site was already occupied by the expanding College Center (Smith), a new site was chosen across the Park Blocks on Block 230. After the new library was constructed, the old Library became Library East and the new Library West. Thereafter, Library East occupied the first and second mezzanine floors of Smith Center as well as part of the basement until its Librarians and staff merged into the Millar Library in 2013. While Library West functioned as the public face of PSU's library system, Library East was the home of Technical Services (later Resource Services), which included the Cataloging, Acquisitions, and Serials (later Electronic and Continuing Resources) departments as well as the Preservation and Digital Initiatives units.

Library West was re-named the Branford Price Millar Library in June 1975 after PSU's second president, Branford Price Millar, who served from 1959-1968. The copper beech tree which functions as the centerpiece of the Millar Library was planted circa 1892 by the Watson family. Joseph Franklin Watson (1849-1922) and his wife, Mary Whalley Watson, occupied a house on the corner of Park and Hall starting circa 1880. Joseph Watson was an industrialist involved in a variety of mines, ironworks, shipbuilding and banking interests.

Building Occupants
OIT Computer Lab
The Learning Center 

Computer Labs
Open: Library Hours

Additional Resources:
All Gender Restrooms: Two multi-stall occupancy restroom on Floor 3 - Rooms 325 & 327.

Historical Photos Link
Millar Library from the University Digital Gallery

Square Footage
Gross Square Footage: 208,640
Net Assignable Square Footage: 134,809

External Links:
Library Homepage & Catalog
Special Collections & University Archives 

ADA Accessibility