Oregon City celebrated on May 5 the installation of a laminate sign on the McLoughlin Promenade overlooking the former Blue Heron Paper Co. mill, honoring the city's contributions to film history.
Scenes from the vampire series "Twilight" were filmed at the mill, and the promenade was used to film several scenes in other TV shows and movies. The 24-by-19-inch and 20-by-8-inch signs consist of two panels on a post in the Oregon City park.
COVID-19 prevented a large public dedication. Instead, Oregon City officials and Clackamas County tourism advocates attended a photo opportunity with the sign. A representative of the Oregon Governor's Office of Film & Television attended the dedication to help celebrate and welcome the 27th sign to the Oregon Film Trail.
Oregon City's Film Trail contribution can be viewed along the McLoughlin Promenade, which attracts tourists regionally. From the path, there are good views of the mill, the Willamette River and downtown Oregon City, which has been the used in the filming of movies like "Bandits" and "Homer and Eddie."
Dating back to 1909, Oregon's film history includes 500 feature films and television shows shooting footage at thousands of locations around the state for a wide variety of production backdrops.
Oregon City's Historic Review Board voted unanimously Dec. 10 to approve the installation of the sign, although it doesn't meet the historic area's design guidelines. However, the board provided a one-time variance for the location in recognition of the sign's aesthetics and its potential to promote "expanded, yet responsible" use of the park as tourists from around the state follow the Film Trail.
Oregon City's Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee previously voted to support the project, as city officials saw how the sign's design complements some of the mid-century structures in the historic district, including the Municipal Elevator.
Oregon City's Economic Development Department worked with the Oregon Film Office to get the city's approval to include the city on the Oregon Film Trail. The statewide network of recognizable trail markers seeks to "retell stories and celebrate Oregon's rich contribution to filmmaking."
Oregon City's McLoughlin Promenade, constructed in 1937 as a Works Progress Administration project, is on the National Register of Historic Places. The President Franklin Roosevelt-era project includes a concrete path that follows the bluff. On the east side of the 7.8-acre park, the walkway abuts the yards of several historic houses.
According to the conditions of approval for installation, the Film Trail sign does not impede the views of people sitting on park benches or walking on the promenade. No portion of the sign post or its new concrete pad disturbed the existing historic walkway or stone wall.
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