Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Here is a photo from the Oregon State Archives of the Shelton McMurph-Johnson house showing again that the original stairs leading to the house were very simple and under stated, not the out of proportion monstrosity being installed now. Too bad something along the lines of the original could not have been constructed and the left over funds used to replicate the wonderful Victorian fence that once surrounded the estate.
Monday, January 30, 2012
This is an other Cogswell house, built in 1892 for Clara Cogswell and her husband E.H. Ingram. It is one of the earliest Queen Anne style structures in Eugene and retains much of its original detailing. As can be seen in the early photo the house originally had a smaller porch with Eastlake/Queen Anne detailing. A corresponding side porch on the east side of the house still remains. The larger craftsman style porch was added circa 1910 greatly increasing the visual impact of the house. In later years the house was owned by Emil Koppe who was President of the Eugene Woolen Mills. The original carriage house circa 1895, still stands behind the house and was shared by Emil's son Paul who built the house due east of his parents home in 1926.
Friday, January 27, 2012
This house in the Rural Gothic style, mentioned in last Fridays post, was built in early 1884 by John Cogswell for his daughter DeEtta on the corner of 3rd and Pearl at the foot of Skinners Butte, next to the Dr. Thomas Shelton property. DeEtta became ill and died in early 1885 at age 25. Her sister and brother-in-law, Lischen and George M. Miller, purchased the house in August, 1885. George was a brother of Joaquin Miller, famous "Poet of the Sierras". Educated as a lawyer, George also became a real estate developer who became known as the "Prophet of Lane County" He advocated a trans-continental highway from New York to Florence, Oregon; designed a flying machine in 1892; platted the town of Fairmont; and laid out the road to and founded the coastal towns of Acme and Florence. The house was moved by horses, on log rollers in 1909 to its current location, at 246 East 3rd Ave., where it has been beautifully restored, decorated and maintained.
Thursday, January 26, 2012
This view of the Southern Pacific Depot was taken circa 1910 and shows one of the large planters that were once placed around the depot grounds. They along with the fountain, rose garden and other plantings were part of depot beautification effort which was popular in the early 20th century. Before auto travel become popular the local railroad station was the first place a traveler would see when they arrived in a town, hence the effort to make it as much of a showplace as possible.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
The mansard roofed Belshaw-Condon house was built by George Belshaw in 1878 at 148 E. 11th Avenue ( S.W. corner of 11th and High). It is the only example besides Deady and Villard Halls on the University of Oregon campus of the Second Empire style in Eugene. In 1882 the house was purchased by Dr. and Mrs. Condon. Condon, a long time geology professor at the University, would live the rest of his life in the charming house. Sometime in the 1880's Dr. Condon added a wing on the right side of the house which added two rooms to the original eight room house. The additional was carefully constructed to match the existing style of the house with mansard roof, dormers and bracketed cornice. The house stayed in the family after Dr. Condon's death and was used as a rental until it was moved to 1268 Jackson (second photo)by a grandson sometime in the 1920's where it stands today. Other than the lose of the original porch and roof-top railing the exterior of the house is basically intact after the removal of non-historic siding circa 2000.
Monday, January 23, 2012
Here a large crowd gathers for a now unknown event at the Southern Pacific Train Depot. It was most likely to great some visiting dignitary. The fountain mentioned in last Wednesday's post can be seen in front of the depot on the right. The Shelton-McMurphy House can be seen on the Butte with one of the many warehouse that used to line the tracks, between it and the depot.
Friday, January 20, 2012
It seems that most of the photos taken from the top of Skinners Butte looked out due south over downtown and few early shots included the growing University of Oregon campus to the south-east. Starting at left is the bend of the Willamette River with Villard and Deady Hall in the upper center of the photo. Just below center is the Midgely Mill complex approximately at the far western reaches of the current E.W.E.B. site. In the extreme lower left is the rear of the Cogswell-Miller house of 1884. This house was moved in 1909 to its current location at 246 E. 3rd. In the extreme lower right is the back of the Shelton-McMurphy house. This view would now be impossible as the Ya Po Ha Terrace (along with a heavy stand of huge firs all over the butte) now looms up on the left about where the old Shelton carriage house stood.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
This shot appears to be looking west at the fountain that used to stand in what is now the middle of the west parking lot at the Depot (Where the sculpture now stands). It was most likely lost to one of the war scrap drives.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
This photo appears to have been taken from the same vantage point as the photo of the new (In 1959) parking lot in last Wednesdays post. This would soon become the site of the two level "Butterfly" lot that replaced the old Lane County Jail at 8th and Oak. In this shot taken from the clock tower of the old Court house we can see the backside of the jail, the Tiffany building to the right and the old U.S. National Bank across 8th St. The back of the Smeede Hotel is at the far right above the brick building with the Coca Cola advertisement painted in the side.
Monday, January 16, 2012
In last Tuesdays post I speculated that the tiny jail building of 1858 may have served as the only jail building until 1892. There is some evidence that the above building was used as the Lane County Jail before the 1892 structure was built. It stood on 5th Avenue at the North end of Olive St. very near where today's jail is located. When this photo was taken it was being used as a livery stable and early automobile garage.
Friday, January 13, 2012
This view looking East down 8th Avenue at about Park Street shows the 1892 Lane County Jail and across Oak the grand Court House of 1898. Both structures where razed 1958-1959 for the current bland and dated mid-century structure that now stands at this site.
Thursday, January 12, 2012
I just saw this photo of the new staircase being built to access the Shelton-McMurphy-Johnson House from the south side of the property. I am shocked and disappointed at how wildly inappropriate this massive structure is in comparison to the relatively humble Victorian house. Not to mention total lack of historical presidence as to what was originally in place when the house was first built. Yes, as far as similar structures in Eugene, there are none and the S.M.J. house is by far our most grand surviving Victorian home, but it is by no means worthy of a staircase that would be more fitting as the entrance to a huge (modern) Court House or other massive public building. Originally the terraced south yard was connected by a series of two or three understated stairs that did not appear to even have railings. I of course understand, that now with the house being used as a public venue, safety must be taken into consideration, but low key iron railings could have been installed with great savings and with far more visual and historical success. Massive failure....
This bracketed Italianate building served as the City of Eugene's Fire Hall on the first floor and the City Hall on the upper floor. It stood on the North side of 8th Avenue between Willamette and Park Streets and served in this dual capacity until the City Hall was moved to the Old Eugene High School building at 11th and Willamette St. in 1915. The tower in the back ground served a double purpose as the fire alarm (a large bell) and the hose drying tower. It can be seen in many of the old views of downtown taken from Skinners Butte. The building continued to serve as the downtown fire hall for several years after the relocation of city hall.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Here is the parking lot that replaced the 1892 jail building. The first shot appears to have been taken right after is was completed in 1959 but before the landscaping was installed. The second shot is also interesting in that it is a slightly earlier image taken before the lot was completed and also before the tower of the 1898 Court House was demolished as that is the only vantage point that this photo could have been taken from. My Dad parked in this lot five days a week for over 15 years. In those days it was called the "Butterfly Lot" Maybe it still is. The rear of the Smeede Hotel can be seen in the middle background.
This handsome building was built in 1892 to answer the needs for a larger more secure county jail. With several tacked on additions over the years it would serve (sometimes severely over crowded) until the late 1950's. Of course it was demolished for a parking lot.....
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
This dismal building was the first Lane County Jail while the smaller building in the rear was the City of Eugene Jail. The County Jail was built in 1858 and seemed to have served until the new jail was built in 1892. This site was on the N.W. corner of 8th and Oak which has been a two level parking structure since the early 1960's.
Monday, January 9, 2012
Built in 1853, the Lane County Clerk's Office is the oldest authenticated structure, private or public, in Lane County, and one of the oldest public buildings still standing in Oregon. It is also the true "First" Court House in Lane County, constructed two years before the larger Court House of 1855 (See Fridays post). The tiny 16"x20" building was built by Prior Blair in the then popular Greek Revival or Classical style for the grand sum of $100.00. Remarkably well preserved it still sits on its original hand-hewn sills and retains its original clapboard siding which shows the vertical cut marks of a whip saw, probably from the first millrace sawmill. After the building became obsolete with the completion of the new Court House in 1855 it served as office space for attorney's for many years until it was moved to 232 E 7th were it was a rental property until 1957 when it was moved to the Lane County Pioneer Museum.
Friday, January 6, 2012
These two photos are the First Lane County Court House which was built in 1855 roughly at the location of the current Court House at 140 East 7th Avenue, (post-1913 street number) on the southeast corner of East 7th Avenue and Oak Street. The structure was later moved further down East 7th which at that time ended at hotel’s front porch. The millrace was behind the building which was razed when East 7th was extended. The building served as the first Lane County Courthouse from 1855 to 1898, then was moved to make way for the grand structure of 1898. At it's present location it became Eugene High School and finally the Yates Hotel after 1900.
Thursday, January 5, 2012
Here is a view toward the North East of the Old Lane County Courthouse. The Spanish American War Memorial Fountain can be seen still intact on the corner (It can be seen today minus its wrought iron lantern at the Pioneer Museum) amid the lushly landscaped grounds. The structure, built in 1898 was nearly identical to the Polk County Court House (which incidentally still stands, beautifully preserved and still in use in Dallas Oregon) and was demolished in the late 1950's. Why any one person, let alone a group of County administrators would decide to raze this beautiful building is an astounding mystery. Even if the building had been out grown it could have been modified for use as the City Hall or even the Lane County Pioneer Museum. A small sample of the gorgeous interior woodwork, namely the grand staircase and the courtroom interior can be viewed in the collection of the Pioneer Museum.
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
Here is a great shot of the east side of Villard Hall on the University of Oregon campus. This photograph was probably taken about 1905, about 40 years before the horrible Robinson Theater addition was tacked on to its matching West facade.
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Monday, January 2, 2012
The Smeede Hotel is one of the oldest surviving hotel structures left in Lane county. It is representative of early Italianate commercial architecture. The original structure, built in 1885, was three stories high with 52 feet of frontage on Willamette Street and 65 feet of depth. It was later extended 49 feet to the east. In 1892 the brick facade was stuccoed and cast iron trim was added. The vaulted sheet metal canopy was added in the early 1900's (after this photo was taken) about the time the Smeede family took over the Hotel. The Hotel's original name is still imbedded in bronze in the front sidewalk. the original interior was gutted about 1973 just prior to the structure being put on the National Register of Historic Places on January 17, 1973.