In this issue:

1.  Special incentive offered for rehab, preservation work

2.  Portland consultant to be given national award

3.  Portland’s Chinese history told in new exhibit

4.  New collections assessment program offered





The Special Assessment Program is a state-sponsored incentive program instituted in 1975 to encourage the preservation and appropriate rehabilitation of properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places.


Under this program a property is specially assessed for a period of ten years.  This allows the owner to restore or improve the condition of the property and not pay additional taxes on the resulting increase in the property's value until the ten-year benefit period has expired. For more information about the program, read the latest blog of the Oregon Heritage Exchange.





Morgen Young, the proprietor of Alder LLC, will be presented the Excellence in Consulting Award on March 19 by the National Council of Public History at its annual conference in Baltimore.


The award recognizes outstanding contribution to the field of public history through consulting or contract work by recognizing professionals whose primary engagement with public history in the past five years is through consulting.


Young’s work includes exhibits of the Oregon Historical Society, Portland Mercado, Portland International Airport, Oregon Health Sciences University, Architectural Heritage Center, Milwaukee Historical Society and other organizations.


NCPH inspires public engagement with the past and serves the needs of practitioners in putting history to work in the world by building community among historians, expanding professional skills and tools, fostering critical reflection on historical practice, and publicly advocating for history and historians.




Unbeknownst to many Oregonians, Portland in 1900 was home to the second largest Chinatown in the nation. While many locals have walked through the gates leading into Northwest Portland, few know the history of Portland’s two historic Chinatowns and the stories of those who made their home here.


Now on display at the Oregon Historical Society through June 21, the exhibition “Beyond the Gate: A Tale of Portland’s Historic Chinatowns” features that history.


After gold was discovered in 1848, Chinese miners, laundrymen, cooks, gardeners, merchants, and doctors migrated to California and the Northwest. Immigrants who settled in Oregon established “Old Chinatown” (1850-1905) which was centered on SW Second and Front Avenues. After the 1905 Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition and Oriental Fair brought hundreds of thousands of visitors and sparked a building boom, many Chinese merchants left the community they had built south of Burnside and reinvested in Northwest Portland near Union Station, creating “New Chinatown” (1905-1950). Chinese in Oregon were deeply impacted by federal exclusion laws, but they nevertheless built homes, commercial enterprises, and families whose legacies continue today.


Curated by Jacqueline Peterson-Loomis in collaboration with scenic designer Carey Wong and Chinese community members, this exhibition draws on oral history interviews, photographs, business directories, maps, and historic artifacts. This exhibition brings to life the robust sights and sounds of places of business, education, and entertainment, offering visitors a glimpse of life beyond the gate. The Oregon Heritage Commission made a grant to assist the exhibit’s development.






The Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works have announced a new program to provide museums with collections conservation assessments. 


 The Collections Assessment for Preservation (CAP) program will build upon the previous CAP program that was funded by IMLS and administered by Heritage Preservation for 24 years, until Heritage Preservation ceased operations in 2015.  The new program will continue to support collections assessments for small and medium-sized museums throughout the nation.


The three year partnership will match professional conservators with participating museums to conduct assessments of their collections and will encourage the inclusion of building assessments, regardless of the age of the structures. Other key components to this new program will include linking museums to training and other resources; incorporating a structured follow-up session with museums and assessors; and improving training for and review of assessors.


The first call for applications to participate will be in the fall of 2016 with an early 2017 deadline.  Detailed information will be available at and


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Oregon Heritage News is a service of Oregon Heritage, a division of the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. The news editor can be contacted at