The Copper Beech Tree

Front of PSU Library building with beech tree

Copper Beech (Fagus sylvatica v. purpurea)

Resources and information about Portland State University Library’s historic tree

Portland State University Library’s curved façade encircles a towering copper beech tree planted in approximately 1890. The tree was designated as a City of Portland Heritage Tree in 1995 and an Oregon State Heritage Tree in 2022. This site collects information and resources about the history of the tree and the design of the Library.

 

Watson House, 1877 SW Park Ave., in 1965Tree Timeline

Significant events in the life of the copper beech tree from its Park Avenue planting to its dedication as an Oregon State Heritage Tree in April 2022. [PDF]

 

 

Library windows and the tree in autumnArticles on the Beech Tree

Beech the Book Tree” by Jane Sansregret, NW Magazine in The Sunday Oregonian, December 10, 1972 [PDF]

Trees are Excellent Architectural Investments” by David-Paul Hedberg, From Stumptown to Tree Town [PDF]

“The Million Dollar Tree” in “Pieces of History” by Cristina Rojas, Portland State Magazine, Spring 2021 [PDXScholar]

“The Copper Beech: 100 Years of Urban Development,” by Jabriel Pierce, Sustainability at PSU, April 20, 2022 [Portland State University web page]

1975 image of students sitting on lawn around beech tree

University Archives Documents

Selected documents on the beech tree and the design of the Library, held by PSU Archives [Google Drive]

For more information about these materials, please contact specialcollections@pdx.edu.

 

Construction of the library addition in 1988

AECA Documents

Selected documents on the beech tree and the design of the Library, held by PSU Architecture, Construction, and Engineering Archives [Google Drive]

For more information about these materials, please contact bhenry@pdx.edu.

 

Beech tree in spring

Photographs

Search the University Archives Digital Gallery for historic images of the copper beech and the library

More images of the beech tree from the 1940s to the present held by PSU Archives and the PSU Library [Google Drive]

 

Questions? Please contact PSU Library Special Collections and University Archives by email: specialcollections@pdx.edu.