Animal House Walking Tour

Main Campussm

It’s about time I revealed something to you…I’m a geek. Yep I am. I’m curious about the world and find it interesting to research strange things. I’m also the type of person who watches a movie and notices the details. The wallpaper, the props, the scenery. I like to take it all in. I especially love to watch a movie when I identify with the scenery. The movie Animal House is the best example of this. I watched the movie a couple of times growing up. And it wasn’t until I went to the University of Oregon that I really identified with the movie. Not that I was anything like the Delta’s (even though I find the characters pretty funny) or the Omega’s (eek!) but because I adored the film’s location.

So with a Live and Interactive Animal House coming to Salem on the 16th, I set out to complete a project I’ve been meaning to do for a long time. Off I went to photograph all the places on campus that were featured in the movie. And best of all, I’ve created a handy-dandy map (pdf) for easy access to key locations.

In this post I will reveal the scene locations so you too can experience Animal House fun. Stroll down the lush lawns under wooded canopies, follow the duck tracks on the cement and take a seat in one of the many historic buildings. You too can pretend to be a college freshman, looking for the next party. Just remember to keep that Toga securely fastened!

1. Artificial turf and “Only we can do that to our pledges”

Then:
field

Now:
field2

Golfing near the ROTC, Otter and Boon are outraged by the sight of an officer abusing their pledge.

This area is now covered with artificial turf. The Student Recreation Center (SRC) was built and opened in 2000 (left) and the Living-Learning Center which opened in 2006 is to the right. The brick building in the middle is Stafford, part of the Earl Complex built in 1955. The complex was built with dormitory fees as well as the sale of WWII trailers.

Another View Then:
Image

Now:
1

Here you can see Agate Hall in the background and ta-dah, more artificial turf has taken the place of grass (hang in there, I’ll show you the lush lawns soon enough). Other than this being a place where my then boyfriend (now husband) worked at, this building has an interesting characteristic. Agate Hall has a boy’s entrance to the north and a girl’s entrance on the south. Hubby informs me this is also the location where his dad attended grade school. I smell a story however I’ll save the research for another time.

2. Larry and Kent Walking to Rush Parties
Then:
carson

Now:
carson2

The movie opens with Larry and Kent walking across campus to attend fraternity rush parties. As the credits roll, they leave Carson Hall, then walk past the camera.

Ah, Carson Hall. Built in 1949, Carson Hall was considered innovative in its day since the building was the first on campus to be coed. I remember it as my summer residence as an RA and have a distinct memory of taking care of a smelly issue in the East Wing. One student refused to wear deodorant to the chagrin of neighbors so I had a long, awkward conversation with the resident. Carson also contains a room named after a fabulous family-member of mine…guess correctly and you’ll earn double bonus points that will get you off “double secret probation”.

3. Zit Scene, Erb Memorial Union (EMU)
Then:
fishbowl

fishbowl2

Now:
fishbowl3

fishbowl4

This scene is probably the most memorable scene from Animal House and was not filmed according to the screenplay. John Belushi actually improvised piling on the plates to his tray as well as the “zit scene”. The location is in the “Fishbowl” of the Erb Memorial Union (EMU). Check out the chairs, they are the same!

4. Emily Dickinson College, err did you mean Gerlinger?

Then:
girlshall

girlsinside

Now:
girlinger

girlinger2

Gerlinger Hall stood in for fictitious Emily Dickinson College where Otter went looking for his pretend girlfriend Fawn Liebowitz. Built in 1921 Gerlinger was erected as the Woman’s Building.

More images in the area:
gerlinger

pic

Just a few steps in between Susan Campbell and Hendricks Halls, you’ll find the location of these film shots.

Now:
hendricks

5. Faber College, Dean Wormer’s Office/Johnson Hall

Then:
fabercollege

admission

presidentoffice

Now:
jonson

jonson2

In the movie, Johnson Hall was the building in the opening credits as well as home to the office of Dean Wormer. In reality, Johnson Hall was built in 1915 by Architect William Christmas Knighton who also built Deepwood Estate in Salem. The office of the horse scene was actually the president’s office at the time of filming.

6. Courtroom in Fenton Hall

Then:
trial

Now:
fenton

I know, I know…it looks so different. While on campus taking photos I didn’t think this could be the same room. But when I went home and researched a bit, I found that Fenton was updated and remodeled in 2011 which included a re-orientation of the classroom. I remember taking one of my first classes in this classroom, Business 101 and later C++. Now I barely recognize this lecture hall. The only similarities I see is that the structure of the ceiling was left intact.

7. Home of the Fictitious Statue

Then:
quad

Now:
quad2

At the beginning of Animal House Larry and Kent walk past the Knight Library with the statue of Emil Faber out front. Indeed there is no real statue here.

Opened in 1937 to replace the old library (“Old Libe” aka Fenton Hall), the “The New Libe” Knight Library contains inscriptions along the tops of each of seven large windows on the main (north) facade. These read, “Philosophia,” “Historia,” “Religio,” “Ars,” “Natura,” “Societas,” and “Litterae,” and represent the seven major disciplines contained in the library’s collection.

Now turn to your left and view another opening clip, the Museum of Art (now named the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art)

Then:
museaum

Now:
art

The clip of the Art Museum was at the beginning of the movie.

The Museum of Art opened in 1932 and was built to house the large collection donated by Mrs. Murry Warner. She never wanted the museum to be named after one person however in 2004 the building was renamed the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art in honor of the donor who has committed a multimillion dollar endowment in support of the renovation.

Lace up your Nikes because now it’s time to visit East 11th Street!

8. Where Delta meets Omega

Frat Then:
frat

Frat Now:
frat2

Both the interior and exterior of the Phi Kappa Psi house was used in the filming of Animal House. This set served as the ever so smug Omega House. The location is 729 E. 11th Ave.

Then:
sorority

sorority2

The Northwest Christian University’s Center for Teaching and Learning (formerly Sigma Nu fraternity) at 763 E. 11th Ave. was used for the Tri Pi sorority front exterior, where Greg Marmalard dropped off Mandy Pepperidge. Its interior was used as the interior of the Delta House, including the basement toga party, upstairs bedrooms and the stairs up which D-Day rode his motorcycle. The commemorative plaque showing where John Belushi smashed the guitar on the wall has been replaced with a picture of Jesus. Note to NWCU, I know this is going to sound a bit Omega-ish but really? A metal screen door? Couldn’t you get something more historically accurate?

Then:
delta

Now:
plaque

Once located at 751 East 11th Ave, this plaque stands in it’s absence by the office building at 755 East 11th. In 1986 the building was torn down. Here is what the inscription reads:

SITE OF THE HOME OF A.W. AND AMANDA PATTERSON. HE WAS A PIONEER LANE COUNTY DOCTOR AND SURVEYER WHO PLATTED A GREATER PART OF EUGENE. IN 1853, PATTERSON WAS ALSO A MEMBER OF THE OREGON LEGISLATURE AND WAS INSTRUMENTAL IN ESTABLISHING THE UNIVERSITY OF OREGON.

AMANDA PATTERSON CAME ACROSS THE GREAT PLAINS IN THE FIRST WAGON TRAIN OF 1843. THEIR DAUGHTER, IDA, WAS A EUGENE SCHOOL PRINCIPAL.

IN THE 1950S AND 1960S THE HOUSE WAS USED BY A FRATERNITY AND
POPULARIZED IN THE LATE 1970S BY THE FILM “ANIMAL HOUSE”

There is one more location that I visited. Head south to 2160 Potter Street.
9. Mayor Manor
Then:
mayor

Now:
mayor2

Home of the Mayor and his daughter Clorette was filmed here at 2160 Potter Street, Eugene, Oregon

Other places you may want to venture to on your own include Autzen Stadium, the Dexter Lake Club and the location for the filming of the parade, downtown Cottage Grove.

And feel free to visit this amazing resource to research online articles about Animal House and the University of Oregon.

Also a style note: Next time I will go on a crisp, cool day in winter. With no leaves on trees and less bright light, the buildings will be easier to view and photograph. It’s strange that most of the footage from the film is taken at night. I’m not sure if its to capture the wildness of campus after hours or if the crew had a hard time getting up in the morning after binge drinking. I should look into it more.

To conclude, I leave you with the the immortal words of Bluto…”Toga!”

4 Comments

Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

Rachelreply
September 7, 2011 at 9:08 pm

Jessica – Go DUCKS! I didn’t know you were a DUCK…love this. I too had one of my first classes (sociology 101, I think) in the Fenton lecture hall. Also, another bit of Animal House trivia – did you know that Ann Curry is in the parade scene? She was an extra as a college student. You can see her running alongside a float at some point.

Jessica Rameyreply
September 7, 2011 at 9:12 pm
– In reply to: Rachel

So how many Toga parties did you go to Rachel? Sadly, I’ve only attended one.

Rachelreply
September 9, 2011 at 5:58 pm

I have to confess to one…though I don’t remember much of it!

dwight harshreply
October 26, 2013 at 12:19 pm

I was at southern Oregon college of education Ashland Oregon { now Southern Oregon University} in 1966 , and pledged Tau Kappa Epsilon that year. We had a blast and many toga parties……. then in 1969 I visited San Diego State, while I was stationed there ,while in the Navy. I happened to luck out and visit on pledge nite………!! All of this to say that when I saw Animal house, I almost split a gut….it reminded me of the good ole days…Now I am 65 and much more refined…. But still pop a zit,once in a while……………..

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