Orton Hall; OSU Campus, Columbus, Ohio

Orton Hall; OSU Campus, Columbus, Ohio

Location: OSU Campus, Columbus, Ohio
Architect: Yost & Packard
Year Built: 1893
Register No. 70000492

A historic staple of OSU’s main campus, this incredible stone structure is deeply rooted in the hearts and minds of many alums because of its looming presence over the Oval and its soothing chimes that ring throughout the day.

Key Details:

The building is named after Edward Orton who was appointed as the first President of the fledgling land grant university in 1873, only three years after the its founding.  He was a professor of Geology and his passion for the natural sciences provided the inspiration for the building’s architectural features.  The building was designed primarily by Columbus architect J. W. Yost of the firm Yost & Packard.  His firm was a partnership between two significant architects who designed many well known civic and cultural buildings throughout Ohio and the Midwest.

In addition to the attention paid to the building by its architect, the design of the building was significantly influenced by its namesake.  President Orton’s love of geology led him to believe that the building should be a monumentally scaled learning tool.  With this in mind, the stone utilized in its construction mimics the stratified geology of Ohio.  The forty different types of stone used in the facade represent Ohio’s geology and create an interesting and varied texture on the facade.   In addition, the bell tower has sixteen carved stone grotesques representing prehistoric creatures that were once native to Ohio.

If You Go:

Orton Hall is located on the south side of the Oval and is close to a number of other critical OSU buildings including the Main Library and University Hall.  Check the OSU website for additional information regarding access and daily hours.




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