Exploring the Idea of a Jefferson Westside Historic District
Jefferson Westside Historic District Task Force Report
Latest: An initial call for six volunteers resulted in 12 neighbors stepping up to work on research for a potential historic district. The next phase involves updating the the 1996 survey and other outdated records and compiling information on proceeding. Note that we’re in the early fact-finding stage of a process that likely will take two years. In addition, an historic district designation required a majority vote of property owners in the district.
We have identified historic preservation experts who will work with us. The historic district task force members are exploring possible grant funding sources.
The JWHD Task Force Report presented and discussed the project at the October 11 JWN General Meeting, 6:30-8:30pm, via Zoom.
Presentation Slides can be found here: hdtf-10-11-22.pdf
The recording of the Zoom meeting can be accessed here [Passcode: #?7PMxt5]. The first 30 minutes are general updates and announcements and the JWHDTF presentation and Q&A start at 30 minutes and last 45 minutes.
In 1996 the city of Eugene Conducted a Cultural Resource Survey for Historical Homes including date built and other architectural data.
- Go to http://heritagedata.prd.state.or.us/historic/
- Enter the city, street, number, and direction (if it does not work, try just the street)
- The results are at the bottom, select “form.”
- The form will contain some basic information
- To get the full entry, look under Scanned Document Links and select “Inventory Form”
- The PDF will download.
Important Note: This report is just the initial step in exploring the concept. No decision to proceed beyond this step has been made. In order for this imitative to move forward there would have to be both neighborhood buy-in and a committed group of volunteers to see it through. The JWN Board and the Task Force do not have the ability to execute such a project on their own.
Jefferson Westside Neighbors and areas west of the downtown commercial district are the oldest neighborhoods in Eugene. Most homes range from the 19th century up to the 1940s. Examples range from palaces like the 1891 Queen Anne Victorian at Taylor and W. 10th to more modest and ubiquitous Craftsman bungalows built in the early 20th century like the beautiful 1920 home above. Combined with our larger old tree canopy, Jefferson Westside Neighbors is the historic heart of Eugene.
This from the City’s Historic Preservation webpage:
Preserving Eugene’s History
Eugene’s older neighborhoods and houses are a critical part of our city’s history and character. Just as the Willamette River, Skinner and Spencer Buttes, and the Cascades define Eugene’s natural surroundings, our historic neighborhoods of settlement era houses, modest bungalows, and stately craftsman homes trace Eugene’s history and help define the character of the city and of the Northwest. The purpose of Eugene’s Historic Preservation Program is to increase public awareness of this history and character and to facilitate preservation, restoration and rehabilitation of historic structures, landscape features, and other culturally significant physical objects and geographic areas.
In an attempt to avoid the fate of other older urban neighborhoods that have succumbed to infill redevelopment, such as the two 100+ year old Craftsman homes destroyed to build the massive fourplex on W. 15th and Olive, the JWN is forming a task force to explore the possibility of creating a historic district. Preserving older homes is not only important to our culture and heritage, but is environmentally sound, as an older home’s carbon debt has long since been paid. Upgrading an existing structure for energy efficiency is far less carbon intensive, and more effective, as demolishing a home and building a new house.
Preservation is not about preventing density – we are already the second densest neighborhood with a huge inventory of middle housing – much of it historic like the Lincoln School Condos. Preservation is about protecting the neighborhood’s historic character and context and putting that front and center for any new development.
- 10 Steps to Establish a Local Historic District (from the National Trust for Historic Preservation)
- City of Eugene Historic Sites Map
- Oregon Department of Land Management and Development. (2021). Middle Housing and Goal 5 Historic Resources.
- Oregon Parks and Recreation Department State Historic Preservation Office. (2011). Guidelines for Historic Resource Surveys
- Oregon Parks and Recreation Department State Historic Preservation Office. (2018). Preparing National Register Nominations in Oregon
- Oregon State Parks. Oregon Historic Sites Database
- Rypkema, D. D. (2014). The economics of historic preservation: A community leader’s guide, 3rd edition. PlaceEconomics.
- U.S. Department of the Interior National Park Service Cultural Resources, National Register, History and Education. National Register Bulletin. (1997). How to Apply the National Register Criteria for Evaluation
- U.S. Department of the Interior National Park Service Cultural Resources, National Register, History and Education. (1997). National Register Bulletin. How to Complete the National Register Registration Form“