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Historic Knight Library: Art & Architecture

Guide to the art and architecture of the 1937 historic Knight Library, University of Oregon, Eugene.


Fred Cuthbert designed the landscape features  of the historic Knight Library as well as the landscape plan of the adjoining Memorial Quadrangle.

Frederick A. Cuthbert
Courtesy of the School of Architecture & Allied Arts

Fred Cuthbert with students. Source: Oregana 1939.

Frederick Alexander Cuthbert was born in Essex, Ontario, Canada, on May 7, 1902.  The family moved to Muskego, Michigan in 1908.  Cuthbert earned a Masters of Landscape Design from the University of Michigan in 1928 and soon after obtain a teaching position at Oregon Agricultural College (now Oregon State University).  Ellis Lawrence, University of Oregon campus architect, hired Cuthbert as a landscape architect in 1932. In 1934 he joined the faculty of the School of Architecture and Allied Arts when the landscape architecture program transferred from Oregon State University to the University of Oregon.  He served as dean of the School of Architecture and Allied Arts in addition to being program head for landscape architecture.  During World War II, Cuthbert was on leave to hold an administrative position with the National Housing Authority.  Cuthbert retired from UO in 1971.

Cuthbert's landscape designs include the Memorial Quadrangle and Women's Quadrangle of the University of Oregon, both of which are on the National Register of Historic Places, the Eugene Mall, and the Oregon State Capitol. He also designed Alton Baker Park in Eugene and the Cuthbert Amphitheater in the park is named in his honor.  Fred Cuthbert died on September 14, 1978.



"Cuthbert Plans Future Campus." Oregon Daily Emerald, July 8, 1937.

Frederick A. Cuthbert faculty papers, UA 227, Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Oregon.

"Landscape Students Plot Libe Driveway."Oregon Daily Emerald, November 5, 1936.

"Landscaping Work Increased; Fifteen New Men to Work on Projects." Oregon Daily Emerald, November 13, 1935.  Article notes that the new employees are in addition to 25 laborers already at work on campus landscape projects.

"WPA Landscaping Work Progresses; Ball Diamond, Dance Filed May Be Made." Oregon Daily Emerald, February 15, 1936.


The Campus Heritage Landscape Plan, coordinated by Christine Thompson and Christopher Ramey, and produced with the support of a Getty Foundation Campus Heritage Grant, documents the historic campus built environment and the roles of its creators.