A bird’s-eye view…

Did you know that when you squeeze the Mountain Bluebird from the plush toy Audubon collection by Wild Republic the bird call you hear was recorded in La Grande?!

Bluebird pic

Bluebird 2

 

Of course when we discovered this it got us to wondering if the little guy (or gal) who was caught on tape ever flew over the Grand Staircase. If so, his bird’s-eye view might have looked something like this…

Bird's eye view 1

or this…

bird's eye view

Although Evensong was discontinued long before our little bluebird was born, the picture does a great job of accentuating the architectural design and flow of the steps – something our feathered friend would surely have still enjoyed in 1990.

Unfortunately, as illustrated in the photo below, a bluebird flying over today would not be met with as nice a view.

continues to deteriorate

 

To read more about the staircase and why it needs saving go to our About page here.

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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In good company…

What do a bell tower, a former storefront, a home built in 1865, a barn, another barn, and a laundry all have in common?

In good company 1 In good company 2 In good company 3 In good company 4  In good company 5 In good company 6

They are all places sharing Oregon’s Most Endangered Places List 2015 with the Grand Staircase.  Nominated by people from across the state, they were chosen for their value as “cultural and economic assets”.  All, including the Grand Staircase, are in danger of falling down/being torn down if not saved in the fairly near future.

You can read more about each one of them here.

We are honored to be in such good company and wish them well is their restoration and preservation efforts.

To read more about the staircase and why it needs saving go to our About page here.

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 .

“How will we know it’s us without our past?” ~ John Steinbeck, Grapes of Wrath

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The most romantic place in La Grande…

Could the Grand Staircase be the most romantic place in La Grande?  Based on the memories many of you have shared, the answer might just be yes.

My first real kiss...

Had my engagement pictures taken there

When I was little

The site of many wedding pictures

I got engaged

To read more about the staircase and why it needs saving go to our About page here.

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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Could the Grand Staircase be one of a kind?

Eastern Oregon University’s Grand Staircase was built in the Italian Renaissance Revival style popular in Oregon (and elsewhere in the US) from the late 1800’s through the first part of the 20th century.  This style of architecture takes its inspiration from 16th century Renaissance Italy and France but also includes additional elements from Ancient Greek and Roman architecture.

The Italian Renaissance Revival style is most noticeable in the Grand Staircase’s balustrades and balusters.  Although balusters are a Renaissance invention (the Romans used lattice motifs), it is thought that the inspiration for the shape came from ancient Roman candlesticks. Italian and English architects of the Renaissance recognized that the chief beauty of the balusters came from their repetition – something which is certainly apparent in the staircase.

Baluster smiles Photo – Gary Olson

According to the Popular Dictionary of Architecture and the Allied Arts, Vol 2 the type of baluster used in the Grand Staircase is an example of the most commonly adopted style – a round body with a square top and bottom.  Another source we checked referred to this design as a vase-shaped/vasiform baluster.

Did you know?  The word baluster is said to come from the Italian balausta “flower of the wild pomegranate”. Staircase uprights often had lyre-like double curves, similar to the calyx tube of the flower.

.Pomegrante flower

Other examples of Italian Renaissance Revival architecture in Oregon are not difficult to find.  They include theaters, banks, post offices, schools, hotels, apartment buildings not to mention EOU’s own Inlow Hall and Ackerman Hall.

However, grand staircases are a different story.

In fact, after a rather exhaustive Google search we are of the mind that Eastern Oregon University’s Grand Staircase is perhaps significant and even one of a kind in its grandeur (and not just in Oregon).

We’ll be exploring this notion further and report back what we find in future posts!

 

To read more about the staircase and why it needs saving go to our About page here.

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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