AN URGENT REQUEST BY THE
OAK LODGE HISTORY DETECTIVES
Call to Action – Email Letters to Ask for Historic Preservation on ERC Property in Jennings Lodge
May is National Preservation Month! An opportunity has presented itself to ask that some of the historic resources on the Evangelical Retreat Center property in Jennings Lodge be preserved.
There is a possibility that we may be able to save some of the historic buildings and landscape features on the Evangelical property – or at least get more substantial mitigation for their loss. Each and every person’s emails to the key state and federal organizations by close of business Friday, May 19th, can help.
This opportunity came about because the US Army Corps of Engineers has to issue a permit for certain work related to the proposed development. Through community outreach, the Corps was informed there are significant historic resources on the site (as was the State Historic Preservation Office), and surveys were done. The result was that 17 of the buildings on the property were deemed to be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places as a district, and measures for avoiding, reducing or mitigating the adverse effect (of demolishing them for a subdivision) must be considered.
Thanks to Community Members
More community outreach put us in touch with national organizations who have a stake in historic preservation, and who have now sent letters to the Corps to get information and get involved! From them, we learned that the 100% destruction of a National-Register-eligible district (as is proposed for this property) is extreme and very unusual, and alternatives should be considered. We also learned that two organizations besides the Corps will also need to sign off on any agreements reached – the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation in Washington D.C. and the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office.
What Can You Do to Help?
It’s important for all of us to let the three organizations know (in your own words) that you/we have a stake in the historic resources on this property (whether because you live here, or you care about preserving historic resources for future generations. or both).
Also Include One or All of These Points in Your Email
- The historic resources on the property are eligible to be on the National Register of Historic Places as a district. The project proposes to demolish 100% of the district, which is extreme, and doesn’t adequately recognize or preserve the local and national significance of this historic site for future generations. Modifications to the project need to be considered that would avoid destruction or reduce the adverse impact to some or all of the district.
- The groves of trees on the property are also part of the historic landscape, and an important part of the historic national camp meeting movement (the camp meeting movement being one reason why this site qualifies as a district), and need to be included as a contributing historic resource.
- The interiors of the buildings are also part of the historic resources, so reducing the impact to them should be considered, too. [If you know anything about the interiors, or know that items have been removed from the buildings, you could describe that.]
- Ask the State Historic Preservation Office and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation not to approve the memorandum of agreement on the plan for the historic resources unless these issues have been adequately addressed.
If you simply don’t have the time to compose your own letter, here is a sample letter that you can type your name into at the bottom and send in to the three email addresses. Though a personal email is preferred we understand that not everyone has the time, and a sample letter is better than NO letter.
Here is a summary of the events leading up to this.
How to Label and Where to Send Your Email
In your subject line, refer to the case description and number:
Re: Proposed Jennings Lodge Estates Outfall and Subdivision, Section 106 Coordination (NWP-2016-495)
Send your email to these three people/groups:
Dominic P. Yballe, US Army Corps of Engineers, Dominic.P.Yballe@usace.army.mil
Anthony G. Lopez, Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, email@example.com
Jessica Gabriel, Oregon State Historic Preservation Office, Jessica.Gabriel@oregon.gov
It would be helpful if you copy us (firstname.lastname@example.org), so we can keep track of the communications.
Remember, our deadline is close of business Friday May 19th.
Thank you for caring about historic preservation and our community, and thank you for your help at this crucial time.
Mike Schmeer, Chair
Oak Lodge History Detectives