Pictures say it all…

Welcome to the Save the Grand Staircase blog.  Whether you came here by intent or by happenstance, we are glad that you found us.

The Grand Staircase is located on the Eastern Oregon University campus at the intersection of L Avenue and 9th Street in La Grande, Oregon and could easily be called an architectural treasure.

 It is a five tiered concrete structure of ornamental balustrades and balusters built in the Italian Renaissance Revival style.

balusters and balustrades 2

The Grand Staircase was designed by John Bennes and completed in 1929.

Staircase construction

For decades it served the campus…

Served the campus

…and the community.

and the community

Unfortunately, over time, ground movement, pressure from an underground stream, harsh   La Grande winters, and vandalism started to take their toll on the structure.

harsh winters

This photo was taken in 1979, the same year the staircase was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

1979 photo

In 2004, the Grand Staircase was closed to public use.

Staircase profile pic

In 2008 a study found that approximately 60% of the staircase was in need of significant repair…

significant repair

…or reconstruction.

or reconstruction

Its condition continues to deteriorate.

continues to deteriorate

In November of 2014, the Grand Staircase was chosen for inclusion on Oregon’s Most Endangered Places List – 2015. Development of a strategy for preservation and funding is underway.

How you  can help save and restore the Grand Staircase:

  • Like us on Facebook here and invite your friends to like us too.
  • Tell others about the Grand Staircase and how its restoration would be of historical and cultural significance, not just to EOU, the city of La Grande, and the state of Oregon, but to all of us


All black and white photos in this post are from the EOU Pierce Library.  Color photos were taken by Gary Olson.