[Heritage] Oregon Heritage News 2010-10-12

Heritage Info heritage.info at state.or.us
Tue Oct 12 15:41:19 PDT 2010

In this issue:
1.  Three sites added to National Register
2.  Albany presentation to highlight covered bridges
3.  State, federal preservation reports released
4.  Victorian group seeks award nominations
5.  Archives workshops slated for several Oregon cities


Three Oregon locations -- one in Eugene and two in Portland -- have
been included in the National Register of Historic Places.

The Big ‘O’ on Skinner Butte north of downtown Eugene is one of the
new entries. Campus pride at the University of Oregon took material form
when the steel ‘O’ was constructed and dedicated at Skinner Butte on
University Day, May 17, 1958. The tradition of the ‘O’ began in 1908
when the first ‘O’ was constructed at the same spot during a period
when many student bodies in the western United States were building
similar hillside letters. School spirit and athletic rivalry have since
fueled the tradition of maintaining this symbol of campus pride.
Activities associated with the ‘O’ included ritualized maintenance,
such as the practice of Freshmen ‘volunteers’ sliding down the
letter on their yellow-coated pant seats rather than using paintbrushes
to give the letter its distinctive color. Defacement and vandalism also
became long-standing traditions. In addition to frequently being
repainted in rival colors, more determined individuals used dynamite to
blast the letter off the hill more than once. Wooden letters constructed
in the 1940s and early 50s were less likely to send debris over downtown
if blasted, but proved to be a flammable target. As a final solution,
fire and blast-resistant sheet steel was chosen as a superior
alternative by those who organized the construction of the 1958 ‘O.’

Located in Governor Tom McCall Park, John Yeon’s Visitor Information
Center is Portland’s latest entry in the National Register.
Constructed in 1948, the center is a unique example of the work of
recognized master architect John Yeon. The center is his only
non-residential building still in existence, and was included as one of
only 43 buildings in the Museum of Modern Art’s prestigious 1953
“Built in U.S.A.: Post-War Architecture” exhibit along with works
by  Frank Lloyd Wright, Walter Gropius, Philip Johnson and Richard
Neutra. Yeon’s love for the landscapes of the Pacific Northwest
inspired his multi-disciplinary style of design, where the outside views
were carefully framed in an orchestrated series of experiences. The
exterior of the low, rectangular building is composed of three-foot wide
vertically oriented plywood panels punctuated by similarly-sized
irregularly-placed picture windows. The design features four enclosed
“pavilions” that pinwheel around the visually open glassed-in
central area with each pavilion and a pergola and garden wall extending
beyond the glass enclosure. 

Located on a triangular traffic island in southwest Portland formed by
Alder Street and Southwest 18th and 19th Avenues, the David Campbell
Memorial is Portland’s other property to be recognized. The memorial
was dedicated in 1928 in honor of Portland Fire Chief David Campbell who
perished fighting a fire. A beloved citizen and admired firefighter and
public official, Campbell served as the city’s fire chief from
1893-1917 and is credited with modernizing and professionalizing the
city’s fire department. Funded by a local trust, the memorial was
created by nationally-recognized French-born master architect Paul Cret
who created a distinct Beaux-Arts style monument, a popular style from
1900 through the 1920s. The composition incorporates stylistic elements
from Greek and Roman architecture, including pilasters, a pediment,
scrolls, and an aegicranium (ram’s head). Above the fountain is an
architectural frame inset with a bronze bas-relief of Campbell sculpted
by Avard Fairbanks, noted American sculptor of the first half of the
twentieth century. 

More information about the National Register and recent Oregon listings
is online at http://www.oregonheritage.org/OPRD/HCD/NATREG/index.shtml  


At 2 p.m. Oct. 17,  Bill Cockrell will present a free program on "The
Covered Bridges of Oregon" with emphasis on those in Linn County.
Cockrell is an author and president of the Covered Bridge Society  of
Oregon. His books include "Oregon’s Covered Bridges" and "Roofs Over
Rivers", which he coauthored with Nick Cockrell. The program is
sponsored by the Linn County Historical Society and will take place at
the Lakeside Center, 2180 54th Ave. SE in Albany.


The Historic Preservation League of Oregon and the National Trust for
Historic Preservation have produced new publications about preservation

The HPLO has published "Healthy Historic Districts - Solutions to Help
Preserve and Revitalize Oregon's Historic Downtowns."  The report is the
outcome of the 2010 Preservation Roundtable which sought to identify
solutions to those issues that keep historic commercial districts from
thriving, such as ad hoc or incompatible development, vacant buildings
and empty lots, insufficient financial stimulus, and confusing or
inconsistent regulations.  

Nearly 100 participants representing including preservationists,
architects, city planners, government agencies, environmentalists,
property owners, and developers identified dozens of ideas that were
distilled into nine key recommendations ranging from comprehensive
district plans and design standards to tax incentives. A copy of the
report is available at  www.HistoricPreservationLeague.org

The National Trust issued a report evaluating how the federal
government is meeting its statutory obligations to consider the effects
of its activities on America's historic and cultural resources.  The
report, "Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act: Back to
Basics," urges federal agencies to take more seriously their obligations
to comply with the basic statutory mandate (on the books since 1966) to
consider the effects of their activities on the nation's heritage. The
report is the first comprehensive review of federal compliance with
federal preservation law in recent years.

The report is available to download in PDF format at
http://www.preservationnation.org/106.  It includes an overview
summary report, a 185-page technical report, as well as a 4-page outline
of the recommendations


Each year, the Victorian Society in America presents one or more
preservation awards, to "projects of outstanding merit in the
preservation or restoration of significant artifacts of Victorian
material culture," which usually means buildings. For the next cycle, a
project must have been completed not more than two years prior to May
31, 2011. The Victorian era is defined by the society as between 1837
and 1917, inclusive.

The 2011 Victorian Society in America conference will be in Portland
(with tours to Salem and Astoria as well). For more information about
the award nominations and conference, visit
http://www.victoriansociety.org/preservation.html and


The State Historical Records Advisory Board is presenting "Basics of
Records Management" and "Basics of Archives" workshops in Portland,
Salem, Veneta and Wilsonville during November and December. These
workshops are open to all city, county and special district employees,
library employees, local historical society employees and interested
members of the general public. Records management topics will be handled
in the morning session and archives topics in the afternoon session.
Attendees are invited to come to either session, or to attend both

The free workshops will be presented by Dan Cantrall of the Oregon
State Archives. Other presenters from the Archives, the advisory board,
and the Oregon Association of Municipal Recorders may assist in the
presentations at selected workshops. The "Basics of Records Management"
session is an overview of best practices in records management. The
focus will be on covering topics of interest to public governmental
agencies. However, private agencies and individuals may also attend and
may find the material useful because there is a strong intersection of
records management procedure and practice between public and private
entities.  The "Basics of Archives" session is an abbreviated version of
the well-attended course presented in 2007. This session focuses on best
practices in setting up and maintaining institutional archives.

For workshop locations and times, visit
http://arcweb.sos.state.or.us/shrab/workshops_2010.htm  If you are
interested in attending notify Dan Cantrall by email at
daniel.e.cantrall at state.or.us and specify which workshop you will be
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