A name change and another year on the list!

It’s official.  Save the Grand Staircase is now Friends of the Grand Staircase!

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When we first started this effort our focus was on “saving” our beloved college steps.  That is still our goal and we are continuing to work with EOU and Restore Oregon to seek funding for their reconstruction.

However, along the way our efforts expanded.  We are working to raise awareness of the national architectural significance of the Grand Staircase, we love posting photographs as well as bits of staircase history and we happily continue to share your own staircase related stories and memories.

We thought our name should reflect these expanded efforts.  Remember, support, promote, honor – that’s what friends do.

But that’s not the only news!  This past Friday our friends at Restore Oregon announced that the Grand Staircase will once again be included on their Most Endangered Places List.  This is great news!  The help and support we’ve received from the folks there has been invaluable.  We couldn’t ask for better partners.

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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 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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