This is an image of ongoing work to repair a structural crack in a historic commercial building in Baker Historic District, Baker City, Oregon. Photo: Courtesy, Sidway Investment Corp.
Fitting Your Work to Time and Place
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Working on the Past in Local Historic Districts

The illustrated examples of successful projects in Oregon make a strong case for applying different sets of Standards, depending upon the significance of a particular resource, its importance to the district, its intended use, and any interpretive goals. The organizations and owners involved in these diverse projects—as well as historians, planners, architects, conservators, and reviewers—all asked the same basic questions prior to work: “What is the history of the place and how will the work protect it, or explain it? ” In each instance, the answer led to selection of the most appropriate treatment and helped create a specific scope of work that was consistent with the treatment goal.

Preservation / Jacksonville National Historic District

Rehabilitation 1 / Baker Historic District

Rehabilitation 2 / Ladd's Addition Historic District

Restoration / Monteith Historic District

Reconstruction / Oswald West Coastal Retreat


Under Oregon's statewide comprehensive land-use planning system (the oldest in the nation) it is required that National Register listed properties, including National Register Historic Districts, be protected under ordinance at the local level. Most local ordinances review only the exterior of a property, and this is especially the case in historic districts. In some rare instances, significant "public" interior spaces are reviewed. One note: The Oswald West Coastal Retreat, although a collection of historical site features, is not a designated a historic district. DAVID W. SKILTON, Design Review and Tax Incentives Specialist, Oregon State Historic Preservation Office.