Oregon Wide, Oregon Tall

It’s easy to imagine a restored Grand Staircase as the Astoria Column of Eastern Oregon. We’re envisioning an Oregon Wide, Oregon Tall tourism campaign!

Over the years, the Column has become an Oregon icon.  The Grand Staircase could easily become one too!

According to the Astoria Column website “While the city of Astoria is home to approximately 10,000 people, it’s estimated that 400,000 more visit the Astoria Column each year. ”  Coincidentally, the population of La Grande is not all that many more (about 13,000.)

And, the Oregon Encyclopedia describes the Column as not just a tourist attraction and scenic vantage point, but also a work of art.   We’re confident that the same thing would be able to be said about a restored Grand Staircase!

The Grand Staircase at Eastern Oregon University was designed by Oregon architect John Bennes and completed in 1929.  Sadly, it has deteriorated over the decades and was closed to public use in 2004. In 2015, the Grand Staircase was added to Restore Oregon’s Most Endangered Places List.

We believe that the Grand Staircase has great potential as a cultural heritage tourism attraction and, as a result, could help boost the economy of La Grande, eastern Oregon, and Oregon as a whole.  Even now, deteriorating and no longer opened to the public, it is an architectural treasure worth seeing.  Reconstructed it could offer even more.

We started this blog and the accompanying Facebook page to raise awareness of the Grand Staircase and its architectural significance, post photographs and information of historical interest about the staircase, provide updates on the efforts to save our beloved “college steps”, and share the stories and memories of those who love the staircase as much as we do.

To see a pictorial history of the staircase please visit our About page.

If you have any questions or have Grand Staircase memories, stories, or photos you would like to share please contact us at savethegrandstaircase@gmail.com.

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When we build…

The Grand Staircase at Eastern Oregon University was designed by Oregon architect John Bennes and completed in 1929.  Sadly, it has deteriorated over the decades and was closed to public use in 2004. In 2015, the Grand Staircase was added to Restore Oregon’s Most Endangered Places List.

We believe that the Grand Staircase has great potential as a cultural heritage tourism attraction and, as a result, could help boost the economy of La Grande, eastern Oregon, and Oregon as a whole.  Even now, deteriorating and no longer opened to the public, it is an architectural treasure worth seeing.  Reconstructed it could offer even more.

We started this blog and the accompanying Facebook page to raise awareness of the Grand Staircase and its architectural significance, post photographs and information of historical interest about the staircase, provide updates on the efforts to save our beloved “college steps” and share the stories and memories of those who love the staircase as much as we do.

To see a pictorial history of the staircase please visit our About page.

If you have any questions or have Grand Staircase memories, stories, or photos you would like to share please contact us at savethegrandstaircase@gmail.com.

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Old places…

“Old places have soul.” ~ borrowed from Sarah Anderson, seen in Country Living…

The Grand Staircase at Eastern Oregon University was designed by Oregon architect John Bennes and completed in 1929.  Sadly, it has deteriorated over the decades and was closed to public use in 2004. In 2015, the Grand Staircase was added to Restore Oregon’s Most Endangered Places List.

We believe that the Grand Staircase has great potential as a cultural heritage tourism attraction and, as a result, could help boost the economy of La Grande, eastern Oregon, and Oregon as a whole.  Even now, deteriorating and no longer opened to the public, it is an architectural treasure worth seeing.  Reconstructed it could offer even more.

We started this blog and the accompanying Facebook page to raise awareness of the Grand Staircase and its architectural significance, post photographs and information of historical interest about the staircase, provide updates on the efforts to save our beloved “college steps” and share the stories and memories of those who love the staircase as much as we do.

To see a pictorial history of the staircase please visit our About page.

If you have any questions or have Grand Staircase memories, stories, or photos you would like to share please contact us at savethegrandstaircase@gmail.com.

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By definition…

By definition…

grand (grănd)
1.
a. Large and impressive in size or extent.
b. Sweeping in ambition or conception.
2.
a. Very pleasing; wonderful; splendid.
b. Characterized by splendor or magnificence.

The Grand Staircase at Eastern Oregon University was designed by Oregon architect John Bennes and completed in 1929.  Sadly, it has deteriorated over the decades and was closed to public use in 2004. In 2015, the Grand Staircase was added to Restore Oregon’s Most Endangered Places List.

We believe that the Grand Staircase has great potential as a cultural heritage tourism attraction and, as a result, could help boost the economy of La Grande, eastern Oregon, and Oregon as a whole.  Even now, deteriorating and no longer opened to the public, it is an architectural treasure worth seeing.  Reconstructed it could offer even more.

We started this blog and the accompanying Facebook page to raise awareness of the Grand Staircase and its architectural significance, post photographs and information of historical interest about the staircase, provide updates on the efforts to save our beloved “college steps” and share the stories and memories of those who love the staircase as much as we do.

To see a pictorial history of the staircase please visit our About page.

If you have any questions or have Grand Staircase memories, stories, or photos you would like to share please contact us at savethegrandstaircase@gmail.com.

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You’re going to want to read this…

You’re going to want to read this!

We have some very exciting news! The budget Governor Brown submitted to the 2019 Legislature includes $3 million to restore our Grand Staircase!

We need to keep in mind that the Governor’s budget is just a recommendation. The legislature will develop its own budget throughout the next six months. So while this is a positive start, there will be some key opportunities for us to engage with our legislators in Salem. We want them to understand that the Grand Staircase is a regional asset with national and state historical and cultural significance – and that an investment in the Staircase is an investment in Eastern Oregon!

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the Grand Staircase were restored to its original glory? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the “college steps” once again connected La Grande to the university?

The legislature officially convenes later this month.  Stay tuned for updates and to hear what you can do to help. #thisplacematters

The Grand Staircase at Eastern Oregon University was designed by Oregon architect John Bennes and completed in 1929.  Sadly, it has deteriorated over the decades and was closed to public use in 2004. In 2015, the Grand Staircase was added to Restore Oregon’s Most Endangered Places List.

We believe that the Grand Staircase has great potential as a cultural heritage tourism attraction and, as a result, could help boost the economy of La Grande, eastern Oregon, and Oregon as a whole.  Even now, deteriorating and no longer opened to the public, it is an architectural treasure worth seeing.  Reconstructed it could offer even more.

We started this blog and the accompanying Facebook page to raise awareness of the Grand Staircase and its architectural significance, post photographs and information of historical interest about the staircase, provide updates on the efforts to save our beloved “college steps” and share the stories and memories of those who love the staircase as much as we do.

To see a pictorial history of the staircase please visit our About page.

If you have any questions or have Grand Staircase memories, stories, or photos you would like to share please contact us at savethegrandstaircase@gmail.com.

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Proof

Proof positive your father really did walk to school in the snow…

Photo courtesy EOU Pierce Library

The Grand Staircase at Eastern Oregon University was designed by Oregon architect John Bennes and completed in 1929.  Sadly, it has deteriorated over the decades and was closed to public use in 2004. In 2015, the Grand Staircase was added to Restore Oregon’s Most Endangered Places List.

We believe that the Grand Staircase has great potential as a cultural heritage tourism attraction and, as a result, could help boost the economy of La Grande, eastern Oregon, and Oregon as a whole.  Even now, deteriorating and no longer opened to the public, it is an architectural treasure worth seeing.  Reconstructed it could offer even more.

We started this blog and the accompanying Facebook page to raise awareness of the Grand Staircase and its architectural significance, post photographs and information of historical interest about the staircase, provide updates on the efforts to save our beloved “college steps” and share the stories and memories of those who love the staircase as much as we do.

To see a pictorial history of the staircase please visit our About page.

If you have any questions or have Grand Staircase memories, stories, or photos you would like to share please contact us at savethegrandstaircase@gmail.com.

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Happy Holidays and our very favorite Grand Staircase picture…

The Grand Staircase at Eastern Oregon University was designed by Oregon architect John Bennes and completed in 1929.  Sadly, it has deteriorated over the decades and was closed to public use in 2004. In 2015, the Grand Staircase was added to Restore Oregon’s Most Endangered Places List.

We believe that the Grand Staircase has great potential as a cultural heritage tourism attraction and, as a result, could help boost the economy of La Grande, eastern Oregon, and Oregon as a whole.  Even now, deteriorating and no longer opened to the public, it is an architectural treasure worth seeing.  Reconstructed it could offer even more.

We started this blog and the accompanying Facebook page to raise awareness of the Grand Staircase and its architectural significance, post photographs and information of historical interest about the staircase, provide updates on the efforts to save our beloved “college steps” and share the stories and memories of those who love the staircase as much as we do.

To see a pictorial history of the staircase please visit our About page.

If you have any questions or have Grand Staircase memories, stories, or photos you would like to share please contact us at savethegrandstaircase@gmail.com.

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Some things never change…

When it snows in La Grande, Mounties built snowmen –  this week on campus and in 1984 on the Grand Staircase railing!  Some things never change…

The Grand Staircase at Eastern Oregon University was designed by Oregon architect John Bennes and completed in 1929.  Sadly, it has deteriorated over the decades and was closed to public use in 2004. In 2015, the Grand Staircase was added to Restore Oregon’s Most Endangered Places List.

We believe that the Grand Staircase has great potential as a cultural heritage tourism attraction and, as a result, could help boost the economy of La Grande, eastern Oregon, and Oregon as a whole.  Even now, deteriorating and no longer opened to the public, it is an architectural treasure worth seeing.  Reconstructed it could offer even more.

We started this blog and the accompanying Facebook page to raise awareness of the Grand Staircase and its architectural significance, post photographs and information of historical interest about the staircase, provide updates on the efforts to save our beloved “college steps” and share the stories and memories of those who love the staircase as much as we do.

To see a pictorial history of the staircase please visit our About page.

If you have any questions or have Grand Staircase memories, stories, or photos you would like to share please contact us at savethegrandstaircase@gmail.com.

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Interpretive signs!

Here is the first of two Grand Staircase interpretive signs. The second (with similar but different info and photos) will be installed at the base of the staircase once “better weather” allows a small foundation to be poured.  Very cool.

The Grand Staircase at Eastern Oregon University was designed by Oregon architect John Bennes and completed in 1929.  Sadly, it has deteriorated over the decades and was closed to public use in 2004. In 2015, the Grand Staircase was added to Restore Oregon’s Most Endangered Places List.

We believe that the Grand Staircase has great potential as a cultural heritage tourism attraction and, as a result, could help boost the economy of La Grande, eastern Oregon, and Oregon as a whole.  Even now, deteriorating and no longer opened to the public, it is an architectural treasure worth seeing.  Reconstructed it could offer even more.

We started this blog and the accompanying Facebook page to raise awareness of the Grand Staircase and its architectural significance, post photographs and information of historical interest about the staircase, provide updates on the efforts to save our beloved “college steps” and share the stories and memories of those who love the staircase as much as we do.

To see a pictorial history of the staircase please visit our About page.

If you have any questions or have Grand Staircase memories, stories, or photos you would like to share please contact us at savethegrandstaircase@gmail.com.

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The Father of the Grand Staircase

In memory of the father of the Grand Staircase, architect John V. Bennes August 23, 1867 – November 29, 1943 (shown here second from the left).

The Grand Staircase at Eastern Oregon University was designed by Oregon architect John Bennes and completed in 1929.  Sadly, it has deteriorated over the decades and was closed to public use in 2004.

In 2015, the Grand Staircase was added to Restore Oregon’s Most Endangered Places List. In November of that year it was determined that the staircase was too far deteriorated for restoration to be a viable option, however efforts are underway to fund reconstruction.

We believe that the Grand Staircase has great potential as a cultural heritage tourism attraction and, as a result, could help boost the economy of La Grande and eastern Oregon.  Even now, deteriorating and no longer opened to the public, it is an architectural treasure worth seeing.  Reconstructed it could offer even more.

We started this blog and the accompanying Facebook page to raise awareness of the Grand Staircase and its architectural significance, post photographs and information of historical interest about the staircase, provide updates on the efforts to save our beloved “college steps” and share the stories and memories of those who love the staircase as much as we do.

To see a pictorial history of the staircase please visit our About page.

If you have any questions or have Grand Staircase memories, stories, or photos you would like to share please contact us at savethegrandstaircase@gmail.com.

 

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