Restore Oregon released its 2015 list of Oregon's Most Endangered Places at an event Wednesday evening.
Culled from nominations from individuals across the state, the buildings on the list are deemed to be in imminent danger of being lost to demolition, development pressure and neglect. Two of the buildings played central roles in African American and Chinese culture in Portland, according to Restore Oregon.
The seven endangered buildings, which are located in Portland, Lake Oswego, Cave Junction, La Grande and Oakland, Oregon. Each will receive assistance and a seed grant from Restore Oregon for preservation efforts.
Portland (1908) – Emblematic of immigrant struggles and work ethic, Wong's Laundry, 239 N.W. Third Ave, Portland played a central role in the evolution of Portland’s “New Chinatown.” Vacant and water-damaged since a fire in 1970, members of the community hope to restore it as a combined commercial space, event space, and interactive museum.
Portland (circa 1900) – An African American-owned business for over a century, the Gray Building, 3962 N.E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.has been the site of business and cultural pride, and the struggle for civil rights in Northeast Portland. Demolition for redevelopment is pending, but some family members are hoping for restoration and reuse as a retail space that incorporates black history exhibits.
Grand Staircase, La Grande (1929) – Designed by John Bennes in the Renaissance Revival style, the Grand Staircase, 1504 L Avenue, connect the Eastern Oregon University campus with the city of La Grande. In EOU graduation ceremonies, graduates stood along the stairs which symbolized their future.
First Congregational Church Bell Tower, 1126 S.W. Park Ave., Portland (1895) – These bells have marked weddings, funerals, holidays, and the end of World Wars, but like many historic churches, maintenance costs have mounted. Of three original towers, only one remains and a small congregation must raise $490,000 for restoration.
Mildred Kanipe House, 16513 Elkhead Rd., Oakland (1865) – The Kanipe family homestead was used as a cattle, sheep, and goat ranch. Mildred Kanipe gifted the property to Douglas County as a park and equestrian campground, which has become well-used. But the house sits empty and deteriorating rapidly. The “Friends of Mildred Kanipe Memorial Park” hope to restore and reopen the home for educational and community events.
Shipley-Cook Barn, 18451 S.W. Stafford Rd., Lake Oswego (1862) – A rare example of Oregon pioneer hand-hewn construction, this is one of the oldest buildings in Clackamas County. Obsolete for agricultural use with most of the acreage sold off, it sits on the edge of the urban growth boundary in need of a foundation, rehabilitation, and a productive new use.
Smith Straw Barn, intersection of Highway 47 and Smith Sawyer Road, Cave Junction (1896) – Mortise and tenon joints and wooden pegs secure the hand-hewn timbers of this relic along the Caves Highway. Donated to ODOT along with 16 acres, it was intended as a scenic wayside stop or campground, but was never maintained. Today it needs urgent stabilization and preservation.Source