Tall Inlow Hall

One of the best definitions we’ve found for the word “staircase” is from a fictional account of the history of stairs where it is loosely defined as a method of going to “a tall place…” – perhaps not straight out of Webster’s, but poetic nonetheless.

As you can see from the Grand Staircase architectural drawing below (courtesy of Hennebery Eddy Architects), from street level (at the intersection of 9th and “L”) the staircase at EOU climbs 37 feet 2 ½ inches before reaching the View Terrace and Inlow Hall.

Or, perhaps we should say Tall Inlow Hall.

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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