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National Register of Historic Places Program

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.


Property Name Petersen Rock Garden
Reference Number 13000859
State Oregon
County Deschutes
Town Redmond
Street Address 7930 SW 77th Street
Multiple Property Submission Name N/A
Status Listed 10/30/2013
Link to full file
Petersen Rock Garden, which has state-wide significance, is eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion C in the areas of Art and Landscape Architecture, as a folk art environment, for its significance as an exceptional work of art that combines architecture, landscape, art, and sculpture in a unified whole. Located approximately eight miles southwest of Redmond, Oregon, the work recalls European and American grotto traditions, juxtaposed with American iconography and vernacular folk art traditions, through the creativity and artistry of Danish immigrant Rasmus Christian Petersen. Petersen, who began constructing the garden after finishing his education in Danish and American culture at Nysted Folk High School in Nebraska and three successful decades of farming, was also influenced by his homestead's setting in central Oregon, with its dramatic views of the Cascade range . Creation of the garden represents the last chapter in Petersen's life. The gardens are all the more remarkable for their unexpectedness in the desert landscape and their lack of precedent in their creator's life. The Period of Significance for the site is 1927, the date of construction of the Petersen's residence, to 1952, the date of Petersen's death. The gardens and property as a whole retain excellent integrity and easily convey the reasons for their significance.


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Properties are listed in the National Register of Historic Places under four criteria: A, B, C, and D. For information on what these criterion are and how they are applied, please see our Bulletin on How to Apply the National Register Criteria