[Heritage] Oregon Heritage News 2009-10-26

Heritage Info heritage.info at state.or.us
Mon Oct 26 16:01:35 PDT 2009

In this issue:
1.  Railroad exhibit to open at Oregon History Museum
2.  Heritage Commission to meet in Philomath
3.  Capitol talks slated in Salem, Tigard
4.  Meier and Frank project gets national attention
5.  National Register process featured in presentation
6.  Wild Beauty tour to start in eastern Oregon


More than 150 artifacts, including railroad ephemera, photographs,
paintings and other three-dimensional pieces are included in an exhibit
opening Oct. 30 at the Oregon History Museum, 1200 SW Park Ave.,

"The West the Railroads Made: Trains, Tracks and Transformation" shows
that by linking the cities and the countryside, the railroads connected
the nation by spreading commercialism and ethnic diversity across

For more information, including directions and exhibit hours, visit


The Oregon Heritage Commission will meet at 1 p.m. Nov. 2 at the Benton
County Museum, 1101 Main St., Philomath. The public is welcome to

Items on the agenda include approval of the 2009-11 Oregon Heritage
Grants. A variety of heritage topics will be discussed and considered.

For a preliminary agenda, contact commission coordinator Kyle Jansson
at heritage.info at state.or.us or 503-986-0673.

The services, programs and activities of the Oregon Parks and
Recreation Department are covered by the Americans with Disabilities
Act. If you need special accommodations to participate in this meeting,
please contact the department's ADA coordinator at 503-986-0748 at least
72 hours before the start of the meeting.


The 1935 fire that destroyed the Oregon capitol will be talked about
Nov. 4 in Salem and Nov. 5 in Tigard.

For Salem residents, the burning of the state capitol on April 25, 1935
was the event of a lifetime, just as the assassination of President John
F. Kennedy or election
night for Barack Obama have been for younger generations. Everybody
recalls where they were at the time it happened. However, the cause of
the Capitol fire still
remains shrouded in smoky vagueness decades after the conflagration
that changed Oregon government forever. Kyle Jansson, the coordinator of
the Oregon Heritage Commission, will talk about the events of that 
evening  and the mystery surrounding what kindled the historic fire.

The free presentations will take place at noon Nov. 4 at the Oregon
State Library, 250 NE Winter St., Room 103. It will also take place at 7
p.m. Nov. 5 at the Tigard Public Library, 13500 SW Hall Blvd. The
program will be held in the library’s Community Room. For more
information on the Tigard presentation, call the library at 503-684-6537
or visit the library’s web page at http://www.tigard-or.gov/library/
and click on adult programs.


The National Trust for Historic Preservation recently presented its
Preservation Honor Award to the Portland Development Commission for its
leadership in the rehabilitation of the Meier & Frank Department Store
Building in Portland, Ore.  The project was one of 23 award winners
honored by the National Trust during its 2009 National Preservation
Conference in Nashville. 

With 15 floors and 11 acres under one roof, the Meier & Frank
department store in downtown Portland has been an iconic and beloved
community landmark for nearly a century.  Known by locals as the "terra
cotta palace," the building, which commands a full city block, was
constructed in stages, starting in 1909 with major expansions in 1915
and 1932. 

In the 1960s, Meier & Frank was sold to May Department Stores, which
was later acquired by Federated Department Stores.  Faced with increased
competition from new retailers, Meier & Frank began shutting down and
consolidating its sales space, leaving many floors vacant.  City leaders
were afraid that it was only a matter of time before the department
store would be demolished and the site redeveloped.

When Sage Hospitality Resources expressed interest in using the upper
floors of the building for Oregon's first five-star hotel, the Portland
Development Commission, the city's urban renewal agency, crafted an
innovative financing and tax credits package.  Now, after a $166 million
renovation, the historic Meier & Frank building houses "the Nines," a
luxury hotel with 331 rooms surrounding a sky lit atrium.  The basement
and first five floors of the building are now home to a renovated Macy's
department store, whose bright redesign retains many Meier & Frank
features, including the store's oversized clock on the first floor. 

By adaptively reusing the building, the project preserved a historic
landmark, kept nearly one trillion pounds of waste out of the landfills
and preserved 65 years of embedded energy. The building incorporates
high-efficiency elements that save power and water and the hotel uses
locally grown food products, green-seal products and renewable energy. 
In July, the project received Silver LEED (Leadership in Energy and
Environmental Design) certification from the US Green Building Council.

Along with the Portland Development Commission, co-recipients honored
by the National Trust for the rehabilitation of the Meier & Frank
building are Sage Hospitality Resources, The Nines, and SERA Architects.
 To download high resolution images of this year's National Preservation
Award winners, visit www.PreservationNation.org/press 


"The National Register of Historic Places:  A Most Effective
Presentation Tool" will be presented at 10 a.m. Oct. 31 by Ian Johnson
at the Architectural Heritage Center, 701 SE Grand Ave., Portland.
Johnson, who works for the State Historic Preservation Office, will
discuss the National Register process, what it takes to complete a
successful nomination, and the potential benefits.

Staff from the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability will also
be on hand to provide insight into what the National Register means for
homeowners in Portland. 

This program is assisted by a Partners in the Field challenge grant
from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Pre-registration is
encouraged at www.visitahc.org 


Special presentations celebrating the publication of "Wild Beauty:
Photographs of the Columbia River Gorge 1867-1957" will take place
during the next few weeks in eastern Oregon. The books is the first
publication of the Northwest Photography Archive. The programs will be
presented by co-author John Laursen. "Wild Beauty" illuminates the
photographic heritage of the Columbia River Gorge for more than a
century, with 134 images by three dozen photographers.

The presentations are scheduled for Oct. 28 at 6:30 p.m., Baker Co.
Public Library, Baker City; Oct. 29 at 6:30 p.m., Fishtrap's Coffin
House, Enterprise; and Oct. 30 at 6:30 p.m., Tamastslikt Cultural
Institute, 72789 Hwy. 331, Pendleton.

The November presentations include Nov. 16 at 6:30 p.m., Lake Co.
Library, Lakeview; Nov. 17 at 6:30 p.m., Harney Co. Library, Burns; Nov.
18 at 6:30 p.m., Crook Co. Library, Prineville; Nov. 19 at 7 p.m.,
Jefferson Co. Library, Madras; Nov. 20 at 6:30 p.m., Paulina Springs
Books, Redmond; and on Nov. 21 at 2 p.m. at the Arlington Public
Library, Arlington at 2 p.m. and that evening at 7 p.m. at The
Dalles-Wasco Co. Library, The Dalles.

The tour is sponsored by Libraries of Eastern Oregon (LEO) as part of
its "A Sense of Place" series of programs in the arts, sciences and
humanities for rural communities in the eastern half of the state. 
Funding has been provided by the Institute of Museum and Library
Sciences.  For further information, contact Lyn
Craig, LEO executive director at 541-763-2355.
Oregon Heritage News is a service of the Oregon Heritage Commission,
which can be contacted at heritage.info at state.or.us 

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