More memories…

We can’t tell you the number of people who’ve written us that their memories of the Grand Staircase include running up and down the steps.  Whether it was as a child (racing up and down to see who could get to the top or bottom first), something your high school soccer coach made you do, or, as a jogger, one of the ways you kept in shape, the staircase played a role.

Here is just a sampling of the memories you shared…

Running

Counting the steps

Running miniaturePhoto – early 1990’s – courtesy EOU Pierce Library

A simple Google search yields plenty of results exalting the health benefits of adding stair climbing to your exercise routine.  A restored Grand Staircase could become part of the personal walking or running circuit for area residents and could even be included on the course of organized walks and runs.

Of course, this post comes with a disclaimer:   Before you engage in any form of exercise (like stair climbing), you should check with your physician.  Stair climbing can be strenuous and can lead to physical injury.

 

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We are a group of passionate individuals dedicated to saving and restoring the Grand Staircase at Eastern Oregon University in La Grande, Oregon.

The staircase was designed by Oregon architect John Bennes and completed in 1929.  Sadly, the staircase 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.

 

LATEST NEWS: In the summer of 2015 the Eastern Oregon University Foundation received grants from Restore Oregon, The Kinsman Foundation, and The National Trust for Historic Preservation.  The funds will go towards determining what needs to be done to save and restore the Grand Staircase and estimating the cost to do so.  This is critical work needed to set the stage for pursuing additional funding.

To see a pictorial history of the staircase and learn more about why it needs saving, 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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Good news… and more good news…

We are excited to report that the Eastern Oregon University Foundation has recently been awarded an $8,000 grant from the Kinsman Foundation and a $5,000 grant from The National Trust for Historic Preservation to be used in efforts to save and restore the Grand Staircase.

In combination with the seed grant already received from Restore Oregon, these funds will go toward hiring an architect and civil and structural engineers to determine what has caused the deterioration of the staircase, what needs to be done to address the problems and restore the staircase, and an estimate of the cost to do so. This work will start in the near future and is scheduled to be completed by late fall. These are critical next steps and set the stage for pursuing additional funding. Stay tuned!

Yay

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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It all started on the Grand Staircase…

Today’s post is in honor of Lonnie Myers and his wife Jacquie.  Their story started at the top of the Grand Staircase on April 20, 1965.  That’s where and when they got engaged.  Today, August 14, 2015, they are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary!

We anticipate receiving a picture of Lonnie and Jacquie (then, now, or both) and when we do we’ll post it…

here

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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Starlit Stairway…

Who out there remembers Starlit Stairway – Spokane, Washington’s local talent show?  Sponsored by the Boyle Fuel Company, it was broadcast on Saturday nights from 1953 – 1973 and was the longest-running live-TV talent program in the country.   First prize was $25, but no one was ever walked away a loser because every contestant received a certificate inscribed with their name and the right to say that they had been on TV.

And of course, how can we forget the Boyle Fuel twins, who week after week, month after month, year after year, sang the Boyle Fuel jingle…

For every heating problem,
Be your furnace old or new,
Just call the Boyle Fuel Company,
And they’ll solve them all for you.

And, then, in perfect harmony implanted the Boyle Fuel phone number in our memory banks to remain there forever.

When you need coal or oil, call Boyle
Fairfax 8-1521
Fairfax 8-1521

Boyle Fuel twins

The Boyle Fuel Twins

Here is where we seamlessly turn this into a post about the Grand Staircase.

Next week marks the peak of the Perseid meteor shower.  The granddaddy of meteor showers, NASA estimates that on the nights of August 12 and 13, the Perseids will produce up to 100 meteors per hour, visible in the northeastern sky, streaking by at 37 miles per second.  Cool.

The photo below shows what the night sky looks like from the View Terrace at the top of the Grand Staircase on a “regular” night.  Now imagine it with a meteor every minute!

Night Sky

Photo – EOU Webcam 7/21/15 10:40 pm

Although the View Terrace has been resurfaced, as we’ve mentioned before the top of the staircase is closed off – barricaded for safety reason.  If you want to see the Perseids this year, there are many other wonderful places in Union County (or wherever else you might be in the northern hemisphere) to do so.

That being said, when the Grand Staircase is restored, can you imagine a better place to watch shooting stars?  La Grande’s own Starlit Stairway!!

 

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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