SALEM, Ore. – Two National Register nominations recommended by Oregon’s State Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation (SACHP) at their December 1, 2021 meeting have been accepted by the National Park Service and listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
The Oregon New Deal Resources from the Public Works Administration (PWA) or Works Progress Administration (WPA) is a Multiple Property Document (MPD) that has been accepted for its impact on social and cultural development as well as art, architecture and landscape architecture through federal relief during the significant period of 1933 – 1943. The New Deal, President Franklin Roosevelt’s response to the Great Depression, spurred legislation to provide direct relief to the unemployed and stabilize the economy through public works projects and infrastructure programs. PWA and WPA projects in Oregon included parks, lodges and public docks; roads, scenic drives and trails; city swimming pools, park bathhouses, and golf course features; post offices, courthouses, schools and libraries; water treatment plants, pumping stations and transmission lines; airports, armories and auditoriums; and the Bonneville Dam. All of these New Deal resources significantly shaped Oregon economic opportunities, improved transportation routes and enriched communities.
The State Library of Oregon is accepted into the National Register of Historic Places and is the first entry accepted under the Oregon New Deal Resources from the PWA or WPA, 1933-1943, MPD. Oregon’s State Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation (SACHP) recommended the nomination at their December 1, 2021 meeting. The National Park Service accepted this nomination in May 2022.
The Oregon State Library is located within the City of Salem, Marion County, Oregon. It has applicable historic significance in the categories of architecture, education, politics and government in the period from 1939, the year construction was completed, to 1943, the year that funding for the New Deal work relief programs ended. The library was designed by Architects Whitehouse & Church in the Modernist style with some art deco features. Artist Gabriel Lavare provided much of the carvings and interior and exterior artwork. The Library is associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history and continues to reflect its purposeful design and historical significance.
The National Register is maintained by the National Park Service under the authority of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. More information about the National Register and recent Oregon listings are online at oregonheritage.org (listed under “Designate”).
Properties listed in the National Register are:
- Recognized as significant to the nation, state, or community;
- Considered in the planning of federal or federally-assisted projects;
- Eligible for federal and state tax benefits;
- Qualify for historic preservation grants when funds are available;
- Eligible for leniency in meeting certain building code requirements;
- Subject to local laws pertaining to the conservation and protection of historic resources.
National Register listing does not place any restrictions on a property at the state or federal level, unless property owners choose to participate in tax benefit or grant programs.