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Endangered History     

Endangered History
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Announcing Annual List of Oregon’s 12 Most Endangered Historic Places
Historic Preservation Blog from -
Contributed By: Restore Oregon
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PORTLAND, OR – Nov. 2, 2018 – Restore Oregon will announce Oregon’s Most Endangered Places for 2019 at the annual Restoration Celebration held on November 2, 2018 at the historic Sentinel Hotel in downtown Portland, Oregon. Nominated from people and organizations across Oregon, Restore Oregon has carefully curated this year’s Most Endangered Places list based on significance, urgency, viability, and community support. Since the program began in 2011, Oregon’s Most Endangered Places program has worked to save 47 historic places, delivered more than 4,000
hours of preservation consultation, distributed $80,000 in seed grants, and leveraged $4,000,000 in additional grants and private investment for rehabilitation work.

Oregon’s Most Endangered Historic Places list for 2019 includes:

ASTORIA FERRY (TOURIST NO. 2), ASTORIA (1924) – Nearly 100 years after construction, the ferry retains a high-level of integrity, but the passenger deck leaks badly, the electrical system is shot, the engine is unsafe, and rot is proliferating. The non-profit, Astoria Ferry Group, has adopted a preservation plan, begun repair work, and is actively fundraising.

BUTTE CREEK MILL, EAGLE POINT (1872) – Fire ravaged this National Registered-listed mill on Christmas morning, 2015. Luckily the mill stones and key structural elements survived the blaze to retain the mill’s listing in the National Register of Historic Places. The Butte Creek Mill Foundation is more than halfway to its fundraising goal, and reconstruction is now underway.

CUMBERLAND CHURCH, ALBANY (1892) – Constructed in 1892, the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, also known as the Main Street Church, has stood as a landmark anchoring east Albany for 126 years. It is Albany’s only Queen Anne church, and is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. The building retains its unique historical integrity through architectural details such as original stained-glass windows, doors, and ornate trim work. The church is showing the signs of deferred
maintenance and is under threat of demolition. Restore Oregon will assist the friends group, Save Our Cumberland Church, with a redevelopment plan. With a large, open floor plan, high ceilings, and 126 years of history, the Cumberland Church is ideally suited for adaptive reuse as a community center.

ELKS LODGE, MEDFORD (1915) – New owners must address years of deferred maintenance and figure out how to repurpose the building to generate income. The City of Medford hopes its restoration and reuse will add momentum to its downtown revival.

HERYFORD BUILDING, LAKEVIEW (1913) – Built by a Pioneer ranching family – and listed in the National Register of Historic Places – the Heryford was the first steel framed building constructed in Oregon outside of the Willamette Valley. The city of Lakeview and its Main Street organization see the Heryford as the centerpiece of a downtown renaissance.

JANTZEN BEACH CAROUSEL, PORTLAND (1921) – For five years, it languished on our list of Oregon’s Most Endangered Places, its whereabouts unknown. But recently Restore Oregon received this beloved icon as a donation and has since launched a campaign to “Re-TURN the Jantzen Beach Carousel.” Funding raising, conservation, and the search for a new site is underway.

ROBERT AND CHARLES WILSON HOMES, WARM SPRINGS (1947) – Designed by world-renowned architect, Pietro Belluschi, the Robert and Charles Wilson homes are outstanding examples of high-style, mid-century modern architecture. For the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, however, they reflect a cultural struggle over land ownership and the timber industry. Both houses are in poor condition, but the larger house has badly deteriorated, sitting without a tenant for 23 years. Both
homes retain original floor-plans and mill-work and the Tribes have made numerous efforts to preserve the property. Restore Oregon will work to assist them in conducting emergency stabilization and carrying out an adaptive reuse plan to promote future awareness of tribal culture and develop
their tourism industry.

SANTIAM PASS SKI LODGE, SANTIAM PASS (1940) – After 46 years of operation, the lodge closed in 1986 and has been ravaged by deterioration and vandals. New operators have obtained a long-term lease from the U.S. Forest Service, listed the building on the National Register of Historic Places, and are working to repair and re-open the beautiful lodge for tourism and events.

THE RED BARN AT THE EASTERN OREGON AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH CENTER, UNION (1914) – This Union County landmark has become structurally compromised and may be demolished unless a viable new use can justify investment in repairs. Ideally, there would be a complete renovation of the Red Barn, maintaining its historic exterior.

UPPER SANDY GUARD STATION, NEAR GOVERNMENT CAMP (1935) – The native stone and log cabin was erected along the Pacific Crest Trail as part of the 1930’s New Deal work relief program and is clearly in urgent need of repair. A recent court ruling cleared the way for restoration work to take place on historic wilderness area structures, but the U.S. Forest Service’s extreme budgetary constraints have left the Upper Sandy Guard Station more neglected, and more threatened, than ever.

VALE HOTEL, VALE (1908) – Operators of the non-profit running the Vale Hotel have saved it from demolition and are working to re-open the building as a community arts center. A redevelopment plan is near completion, laying the foundation for a much-needed economic stimulus for this rural Main Street.

WALDRON BROTHERS DRUGSTORE, THE DALLES (1864) – The Waldron Brothers’ Drugstore, also known as the Gitchell Building, is the oldest intact commercial building in The Dalles. Constructed during the Civil War of local stone, it has served many purposes in its 154 years: a Post Office and drugstore, town newspaper office and Masonic Lodge, ticket office, and later as apartments, offices, and even a haunted house. Repair work was done in 2009 to address areas of deterioration, but now the building is threatened with demolition. A group of concerned citizens has formed to work with The Dalles Main Street program, city officials, and local residents to develop a plan for the rehabilitation and reuse of the Drugstore. Restore Oregon staff will devote the resources needed to raise awareness of the value of this critically endangered landmark, work to prevent its demolition, and determine an economically sustainable reuse.

Restore Oregon works to save Oregon’s at-risk historic properties and uses the Most Endangered Places list as an effective preservation tool that raises public awareness of historically and architecturally significant properties that face threats such as deterioration, neglect, insufficient funds, flawed public policy, and inappropriate development. “Over the past seven years, Restore Oregon’s Most Endangered Places Program has become a powerful spotlight that raises awareness of the cultural and economic value of our historic buildings, schools, theaters, homes, and neighborhoods, and the lack of financial incentives in Oregon for their preservation and reuse.” said Restore Oregon Executive Director, Peggy Moretti. “Oregon’s Endangered Places need creativity, vision, and committed investment to escape demolition and neglect. Restore Oregon is here every step of the way to help preserve and reuse these irreplaceable treasures. We hope this year’s list
will gain the attention to go from endangered to saved.”

Visit for full descriptions and photos of the 2019 Oregon’s Most Endangered Places, and to learn more about Restore Oregon and Oregon’s Most Endangered Places Program. 

High-resolution photos also available for download.

About Restore Oregon: Founded in 1977, Restore Oregon is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization which advocates for sound preservation policy and legislation. Our mission is to preserve, reuse and pass forward the historic places that create livable communities. Each year, we provide statewide educational programming and technical assistance, while working to save the sites and structures featured on our annual list of Oregon’s Most Endangered Places. We hold over 40 conservation easements on historic properties, thereby protecting them in perpetuity. Learn more at

About Oregon’s Most Endangered Places Program: Since 2011, Restore Oregon has delivered one of the most impactful preservation programs in the state: Oregon’s Most Endangered Places. Each year historic properties are at risk of being lost to demolition, neglect, hard times, poor public policy, or encroaching development. With support from The Kinsman Foundation, Oregon’s Most Endangered Places program works to raise public awareness of the cultural value of these places, provides direct consultation, distributes seed grants, advocates for pro-preservation public policy,
and helps owners leverage additional grants and private investment to support their restoration.

Posted: November 3, 2018
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