University of Portland

Portland, OR

Quick Facts

ClientUniversity of Portland | Portland, OR
Time Frame2008 – 2016
Design TeamSoderstrom Architects


During the early, successful years of the mid-2000s, the Andrusko Group Studio invested in an enormous, Japanese-manufactured OGYU wire saw. The throat of this wire saw could literally have accommodated the width and length of a normal-sized city bus & would have effortlessly cut it into pieces. It was an amazing resource to have. This saw was principally used to slice and cut stone slabs and blocks from rough materials.

Principal artisan Peter Andrusko was approached by a small, talented group of landscape designers who were inquiring about cutting basalt columns length-wise to create a series of monolithic slabs engraved with Stations of the Cross for a prayer garden at the University of Portland’s new Chapel and Bell Tower. Many other conversations involving the project Architect resulted in a number of beautifully designed projects becoming a part of the Andrusko Group Studio’s growing portfolio.


The “Bell Tower Project” came about through a L/Arch contact that was working on a beautiful design in rustic basalt for the Stations of the Cross planned for the University of Portland campus located near the Bell Tower and the new Chapel. The need to fabricate large flat planes in vertical columns was a perfect application for a wire saw, which I had established & set up after the completion of the work commissioned by the Confluence Project at the Cape Disappointment site.

The engravings were done using an abrasive sandblast process, the text was subsequently inlaid with 23k gold leaf, and the anchor added at the stop of each stone was done in a dark gray for subtlety,  in order not to highlight their presence, by request of the architect.

In addition to the stones used in the landscape for the individual Stations of the Cross stones, the project architect was interested in adding gold leaf into the Bell Tower, which featured a number of text and graphic engravings; there was another natural stone boulder also engraved that had been placed into the landscape and also inlaid with 23k gold leaf.

Some years later, the Andrusko Group was also commissioned to carve and inlay with palladium a series of crosses into the new altar stone being placed in the remodeled chapel, located in the same campus area; and again, a few years later, the Andrusko Group was commissioned to carve at the University of Portland campus, this time into a large cast stone panel placed in the masonry facade of the new Lund Hall residential building, housing university students.

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