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!

 

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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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The new view…

In several of our previous posts we’ve mentioned the wonderful view you can see from the top of the Grand Staircase.  For those who are not fortunate enough to live in La Grande and be able to see the view in person, the webcam on the Northside of Inlow Hall allows folks to see it from wherever they are.

Recently the webcam underwent some changes – the pictures are enhanced, the colors are more brilliant.  Caution:  if you grew up in La Grande and/or lived there at one time and have since moved away clicking on the link can bring on pangs of homesickness.

Below are some of our favorite shots from the last few weeks.

red roofs

new view 2

new view 3

new view 6

new view 7

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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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The Amazing Appearing and Disappearing Tree…

When “Courthouse Hill” was chosen in 1927 as the site of the new Eastern Oregon Normal School, the City of La Grande went about doing the necessary grading on top of the hill to make the property conform to the plan of the architect and covering the exposed gravel with good soil suitable for propagation of lawns and growth.

So, when the Grand Staircase was completed in 1929, the hillside on which it sits was a blank canvas, ready for landscaping.

Nearly completed EOU Pierce Library

Newly completed – 1929

It was when researching what happened next that we discovered The Amazing Appearing and Disappearing Tree.

NOW YOU SEE IT…

Appearing

Early 1930’s

NOW YOU DON’T…

Disappearing

1934

Although there were several other fir trees that had also appeared as a part of the landscaping around the staircase, the one that we deemed “amazing” was the one directly in front.  It was so large that were it not for the fact that the picture was taken in June (at Evensong), one might have thought that it had been brought in for Christmas and was anchored in some sort of stand.   Planting (or rather transplanting) one that size seems like a daunting job.

Which, is possibly why all the trees were gone by 1934.  A good landscaping idea gone bad?

Based on photographic evidence, it appears that it was sometime in the 1960’s that fir trees did once again become part of the picture – taking their place on either side of the staircase.

1967 EOU Pierce Library

1967

But, The Amazing Appearing and Disappearing Tree was never seen again.

All photos in this post are courtesy of EOU Pierce Library

 

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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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