It was only a matter of time…

With the propensity of gnomes to show up in unexpected and interesting places (either on their own or through acts of mischief) it was only a matter of time before one made an appearance on the Grand Staircase.

Gnome staircase

In fact, it happened in mid-September.  The particular fellow shown in the photo above is a “model” of the 10-foot Cedar Hills, Oregon gnome who was recently in the news, has become so famous that he has his own Instagram account, and is quite possibly the tallest gnome in Oregon.

Apparently the smaller version hitch hiked to La Grande from Portland, traveling with Gregg Sanders and Carin Carlson from Hennebery Eddy Architects when they were here a couple of weeks ago to assess the condition of the staircase.  Gregg was lucky enough to catch the intrepid gnome when it was out and about and snap the photo.

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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


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