A thing of beauty is a joy forever…

We found this “sister” to our Grand Staircase on Pinterest, reposted from jellysundae.tumblr.com.  Don’t you just wonder what’s around the corner?

As with our staircase, the steps, balusters and balustrades are a little down on their luck – crumbling and in this case moss covered.   Yet, as with our staircase, the structure retains its architectural beauty and is surely still loved by many.

In the words of Keats, “A thing of beauty is a joy forever.”

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 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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Tacoma’s Spanish Steps

We love learning about what we’ve come to call “sister steps” – other staircases that have the look and feel of our own beloved Grand Staircase.

Recently someone pointed us in the direction of the Spanish Steps in Tacoma, Washington.

You can see another photo here

The Tacoma steps, constructed concurrently in 1915 with the Elks Temple, are modeled after the Scalinata di Spagna (Spanish Steps) in Rome.  You might recall that our favorite architectural historian, Calder Loth, compared EOU’s Grand Staircase to those same steps in Rome.

The Spanish Steps in Tacoma were rehabilitated in 2011 with $910,000 in grant funding from WSDOT and Federal Highway Transportation Enhancements program.

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 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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