Concrete next steps…

Big things were happening on the Grand Staircase this past week.

Gregg Sanders and Carin Carlson from Hennebery Eddy Architects worked with John Garlitz of J-U-B Engineers, Inc. to begin the process of determining the condition of the staircase, the cause of its deterioration, what needs to happen next, and the approximate costs involved.

This work is being funded by grants the EOU Foundation received from Restore Oregon, The Kinsman Foundation, and The National Trust for Historic Preservation.  You can read more about the grants here.

Gregg is an Associate Principal at Hennebery Eddy and Carin is a Historic Preservation Architect for the firm.  John is a Civil Engineer for J-U-B Engineers in La Grande.

In the photo below Carin is investigating the existing condition of the cast-in-place concrete stair piers. Cast-in-place concrete is transported in an unhardened state, primarily as ready-mix, and placed in forms.


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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.


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




2 thoughts on “Concrete next steps…

  1. Is there anything we, the students at EOU, can help with or be doing to promote this endeavor? I know a lot of students (myself included) who would LOVE to help, even in small ways! Please let me know! Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication!

    • Hi Candi, Thank you so much for wanting to help! One of the big things you and others can do is to encourage friends, family, etc. (if they are so inclined) to “like” our Facebook page. In this age of social media, potential funders like to know that something is important to people. And, Facebook “likes” illustrate that. Also, just spreading the word about the staircase is helpful. I’m amazed at how many people in Oregon (let alone elsewhere) don’t know that this architectural treasure even exists. Sharing the link to this blog and the link to the “About ” page for this blog is one way to do that. Finally, we are always looking for memories and photos that people have of the staircase when it was open.

      Thanks again. I don’t know what year you are in at EOU, but I would love for the staircase to be restored while you are still a student there or at the very least when you attend one of your first homecomings after graduation!

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