In the most poetic of ways…

In last week’s post we wrote about the View Terrace at the top of the Grand Staircase.

View from the View Terrace Photo courtesy EOU Pierce Library

It reminded us of the 10 August, 1928 La Grande Observer article we found covering the ground breaking for the Eastern Oregon Normal School (now EOU).  In it the view from what now is the top of the staircase was described in the most poetic of ways…

“At 8 o’clock this morning a clod of earth was flipped skyward out of the broad expanse of field that overlooks the city from South La Grande.  When that clump of soil was disrupted the building of the Eastern Oregon Normal school became no more a vision but as actuality.

Up from the weed-covering earth bleak now but verdant soon – the building must rise within 190 days.

Observer view

Standing with a group of workers while they rested and ate at noon today, one caught, somehow with them, the thrill of promise in the new-turned soil.  Stretched out in panorama to the front lay La Grande and the Grande Ronde valley fading into the blue of the mountains.  One’s thoughts skipped to the future when knowledge-seeking youth will look daily at that glorious picture.

Enough said.

 

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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The View Terrace

One of the many wonderful features of the Grand Staircase is the View Terrace at top.  At one time the View Terrace was used for many things…

Studying…

 Studying

Visiting…

Visiting

Learning…

Learning

However now, even though the terrace was resurfaced in recent years, missing balustrades and balusters on the staircase (not to mention barricades closing the steps to public use) keep the terrace from being the gathering place it once was.

 All photos in this post courtesy of EOU Pierce Library.  

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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A meditative task…

We recently received an email from Evan Williams, a Portland area teacher and writer who was a student teacher at Ackerman Elementary School in the early 1990’s.  The excerpt below opened out eyes to yet another reason the Grand Staircase should be saved and restored.

 “I did my student-teaching at Ackerman during 91-92. I was renting an apartment in a house in the neighborhood below the Grand Staircase, and I used the staircase to get to and from Ackerman every day. Of course, this required me to go THROUGH the admin building at the top of the stairs, but this an inconvenience I was glad to tolerate. I was the only student-teacher who lived in that direction, and it was a private walk, a time to collect my thoughts at the beginning and the end of a difficult day at school. When you’re a student-teacher, there are many difficult days. I think that climbing and descending the Grand Staircase served as a meditative task, serving much the same purpose as those floor mazes that some churches have installed.”

The use of labyrinths (sometimes referred to as mazes) as a means of “moving meditation” and reflection has a long history and has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity in recent decades.  We thank Evan for pointing out that the act of ascending and descending the stairs also serves this purpose – taking one step and then another and trusting the twists and turns of the staircase…

meditative

Photo courtesy EOU Pierce Library

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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Magical

Many of the Grand Staircase memories you’ve shared with us include the words “magic” or “magical”.

We think the wonderful photo below (courtesy of Lawrence Hathaway) captures that essence perfectly.

Magical staircase Lawrence Hathaway

Although the picture was taken of a portion of the staircase that is still relatively intact, the one missing baluster is a subtle reminder of the need to save and restore this architectural treasure.

 

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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