A young Grand Staircase…

We love this photo of a young Grand Staircase c. the early 1930s.   What a wonderful way to reach the Halls of Higher Education.  Perhaps one day it will be again.

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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An important step…

Did you know that a 3-D laser scan was completed on the Grand Staircase a couple of years ago? It created a “point cloud” which will ensure that, when funding is secured, our beloved college steps can be restored to look exactly like they did when they were finished in 1929.

We appreciate every step that has been taken along the way to save this architectural treasure. Slow and steady wins the race.

The image below is from another piece of historic architecture, but it gives you an idea of the technology.

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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This place matters…

Oregon is abundantly full of historic places that hold a cherished place in our lives – places that are important to us, places we care about, places that matter.  The Grand Staircase is one of those places.  The Grand Staircase matters.

#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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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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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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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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National Register of Historic Places

Thirty eight years ago today, the Grand Staircase, View Terrace and Inlow Hall were approved for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places!

Since Inlow and the Grand Staircase were designed as an architectural unit, they were nominated as such.

In the nomination form John W. Evans, then Director of Libraries at Eastern Oregon State College wrote “The concept of a Renaissance palace on a hill, embodying the grand stair, is one of Benne’s most satisfying designs and is particularly pleasing in its utilization of the site provided.”

You can see the full nomination here.

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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Architectural Reconstructions: A Respectable Tradition

Remember Calder Loth?  He is one of the architectural historians who so kindly helped us determine the significance of the Grand Staircase.

We were fascinated by everything he had to tell us, but the excerpt below really struck a chord.

“You’ve asked if comparable monumental exterior staircases exist elsewhere in America. I have searched my memory as well as various published and online sources and can find none so ambitious or of comparable scale and complexity.” 

Balusters

Photo Courtesy EOU Pierce Library

In light of the recent decision to pursue funding for reconstruction rather than restoration of the staircase, we thought you might find Calder’s article Architectural Reconstructions: A Respectable Tradition interesting.  We certainly did!

Baluster smallBaluster smallBaluster small

 

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.

The staircase is currently included on Restore Oregon’s Most Endangered Places List.  In November of 2015 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 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, 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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Carousels and depots and staircases! Oh my!

It was just over a year ago that Restore Oregon announced that the Grand Staircase at Eastern Oregon University in La Grande was one of seven properties chosen to be included on their Oregon’s Most Endangered Places List – 2015.  Throughout the last year their enthusiasm, support, insight, and sage advice have contributed greatly to the efforts to save our beloved “college steps”.

And, at their November 13 Restoration Celebration at the Historic Sentinel Hotel in Portland, guess what happened?

When Restore Oregon announced their 2016 list, seven of the 15 places included were ones that had been named in previous years and they will continue to receive support.  And, the Grand Staircase is one of those seven!

And, once again it is in good company.  This year’s list includes a carousel, a depot, a museum, a theater and more. You can see the complete list here.

Carousel

Jantzen Beach carousel – on this year’s Most Endangered Places list

Thank you Restore Oregon!

 

Baluster smallBaluster smallBaluster small

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 November of 2014 it was chosen for inclusion on Restore Oregon’s Most Endangered Places List.

We started this blog and the accompanying Facebook page that same month.  Our intent is to raise awareness of the Grand Staircase and its architectural significance, post photographs and information of historical interest about the staircase, 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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