Architectural Reconstructions: A Respectable Tradition

Remember Calder Loth?  He is one of the architectural historians who so kindly helped us determine the significance of the Grand Staircase.

We were fascinated by everything he had to tell us, but the excerpt below really struck a chord.

“You’ve asked if comparable monumental exterior staircases exist elsewhere in America. I have searched my memory as well as various published and online sources and can find none so ambitious or of comparable scale and complexity.” 


Photo Courtesy EOU Pierce Library

In light of the recent decision to pursue funding for reconstruction rather than restoration of the staircase, we thought you might find Calder’s article Architectural Reconstructions: A Respectable Tradition interesting.  We certainly did!

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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.

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 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, 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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