A Summer of Oregon Heritage
First, let me introduce myself. Hello, my name’s David Casteel and over the summer I worked as a project specialist with Oregon Heritage. Now that that’s done, let’s talk about some exciting projects I was involved in! Over the course of my summer I was involved in a bit of almost everything that Oregon Heritage does. My projects included design assistance for the Main Street program, Reconnaissance Level Survey work of historic downtowns, and National Register work among other things. This wide range of experience was a lot of work, but it was incredibly rewarding to learn and assist in preservation work.
While traveling to so many great towns and cities in Oregon, I was able to discover great, excited people, ready to get involved in preservation and looking for advice to restore the historic character of their buildings. I was able to put forth design assistance for four different buildings from the cities of Nyssa and Newberg, which will hopefully provide inspiration for the owners in any work or future work they are willing to do. These recommendations involved mainly simple details that when finished could really revitalize the buildings’ appearances. An example from a design was to restore the historic transom windows in place of the current coverings, which detract from the overall appearance.
Another enjoyable part of my job was assisting in writing National Register nominations for two amazing locations, Linkville Pioneer Cemetery in Klamath Falls and the 99W Drive-In in Newberg. Linkville Pioneer Cemetery is a historic cemetery formed in 1885, but with a landscape design from 1931, a period of time when Klamath Falls was growing. It has a great and diverse history, and the grave markers tell the story of range wars, the early growth of Klamath Falls, the Tule Lake Segregation Center, and much more. The 99W Drive-In is another wonderful place with a history of entertainment and recreation. A family-owned drive-in, it conveys the mid-century car and movie culture through its neat Mid-Century Modern architecture, historic buildings and structures, and its continued use. There is so much to tell, that I can’t convey it all in a blog post, so I recommend visiting both!
Lastly, I was involved in three surveys of historic downtowns in three unique locations: Lebanon, Newberg, and Nyssa. Each has their own character and setting, and each can really thrive from community involvement in preservation of those resources to maintain or revitalize the downtowns. It was a great experience discovering so many buildings with compelling stories, or architecture, within the cities. I hope the reports that I put together will assist the communities in learning more about the history of their cities.
I really can’t say enough about how amazing the experience has been working for Oregon Heritage, and I want to thank everyone involved in every project. Have a great fall, winter, and more, and go have fun exploring Oregon!
David Casteel was the 2013 Summer Project Specialist with Oregon Heritage. He is currently finishing his Master’s degree in the Historic Preservation program at the University of Oregon.