Community activists, Clackamas County officials to host forum to educate local citizens about historic resources

The recent loss of local historic properties and an opportunity to restore the Concord Property in Oak Grove for community use has prompted the Concord Community Stakeholders (CCS) and Restore Oregon to co-sponsor an Oak Lodge Historic Resources Forum.

The event will take place at 6:30 p.m. Monday, June 4, in the Performing Arts Center at Rose Villa, 13505 S.E. River Road.

Community members rally to save Concord Elementary School before the North Clackamas School Board decided on its closure in 2013. Library supporters now hope the building will be saved.Stephanie Kurzenhauser, CCS chair and Friends of the Oak Lodge Public Library Board president, noted how the community has experienced challenges of late trying to save historic properties in the community, from the recently demolished Philip Oatfield House in Oak Grove to the Evangelical Retreat Center in Jennings Lodge.

"We also have an opportunity to re-imagine the Concord Property as a potential site for a new Oak Lodge Library and community park, so it behooves us to gain a better understanding of how we can more effectively protect the historic resources in Oak Lodge," Kurzenhauser said.

Michael Schmeer, chair of the Oak Lodge History Detectives and who also sits on the Land Use Review Team for the Oak Grove Community Council, will present a history of the former Concord Elementary School at the free, public June 4 event.

"It's important for us to educate citizens about historic preservation so we can learn from recent losses, like the Philip Oatfield House," Schmeer said. "When we lost the fight to save that house from demolition, we learned that when historic properties fall into disrepair, it can become cost-prohibitive for any organization or individual to take on the restoration, especially when you add in the cost of having to relocate the property.

"Our goal with this forum is to highlight the significance of local historic properties, the connection between historic properties and economic development, and the resources available to those who might want to join us in the fight to save future properties before it's too late."

Panelists Katelyn Weber and Lydia Ness from Restore Oregon will provide a comprehensive overview of historic preservation in Oregon. Topics will include Restore Oregon's role in the preservation of historic resources and an introduction to Oregon's preservation laws, legal cases, tools and programs. Restore Oregon has worked to draw attention to the rapid loss of historic fabric throughout the state and represented thousands of local supporters working to protect and restore the historic places that make our state like nowhere else.

Also presenting will be Jennifer Burns, heritage project manager in Clackamas County's Businesses and Community Services Department; Anthony Riederer, senior design and preservation planner for Clackamas County; Joseph Edge, representative from the Oak Grove Community Council's Land Use Application Review Team, vice chair of the McLoughlin Area Plan Implementation Team (MAP-IT) and Milwaukie planning commissioner.

Attendees will have an opportunity to learn more about Clackamas County's Historic Landmark Overlay/Ordinance, resources available for historic preservation, and the challenges and opportunities in balancing neighborhood preservation and change.

Why You Should Care About Restoration

Courtesy of Restore Oregon – visit

Restoration = Jobs

• Dollar-for-dollar, building rehabilitation creates more jobs than manufacturing, logging, or new construction.

• 60% of rehab expenses go towards labor instead of materials, much of which is imported.

• 75% of the economic benefit stays within the local economy.

• Historic places attract tourism and 83% of leisure travelers in Oregon seek out cultural and heritage destinations.

Reuse = Sustainable

• Over 26% of our landfill comes from construction & demolition waste.

• Historic buildings can be energy-efficient and already utilize passive heating, cooling, and lighting.

• It takes an average of 38 years for a new building to save the energy thrown away by demolishing an existing one.

• "Why spend all this effort recycling cans and bottles– and throw away entire buildings?" Donovan Rypkema


Historic = Livable

• Design, craftsmanship, materials… they don't make 'em like this anymore!

• Historic places tell us who we are and where we come from.

• Historic Main Streets are the original "20-minute neighborhoods"– mixed-use and walkable.

• Older buildings offer creative spaces for housing and small business incubation.

• Historic buildings create an authentic sense of PLACE you'll never find in a strip mall!

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