Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Buckman Historic District Needs Your Help!

If you follow my blog at all, you'll already be aware that I'm on the all-volunteer Buckman Historic Association, a group that is working towards the goal of establishing a National Historic District in Buckman. I've written about my personal interest in creating this district before, but this month the Southeast Examiner published an article that serves as a great overview of the progress of the effort to date. [Update: the Oregonian has reported on our efforts as well.] We're at the point of the project where we have to perform an Intensive Level Survey, where we need to document every building in the district. That's nearly 500 buildings that need a one- or two- paragraph description, and that's where we need your help!

Can you write a coherent paragraph or two about a building? Do you have a working architectural vocabulary? If you do, could you consider lending a hand? Maybe you could write the descriptions or just one or two buildings. Maybe you'll find it enjoyable and you'll even do a half-dozen!

Maybe you like the idea of creative writing, but just need a subject to push you along... in that case, why not take a shot at describing one of our buildings? Even if you don't think that your writing could help, it may help give us a framework to work with.

Here's an example from the Department of the Interior's thrilling, mile-a-minute text How to Complete the National Register Registrations Form:
The Edward Jones House is a 1 and 1/2 story, frame, Arts and Crafts style bungalow with a modified rectangular plan, an intersecting gable roof, and a front porch. The walls and roof are finished with wood shingles, and the foundation, chimneys, and porch piers are built of fieldstone. Above the front porch is an open-timbered end gable with Japanese-influenced joinery. The interior of the house reflects the Arts and Crafts style in the oak woodwork and built-in cabinetry. The house is in the Shadyside neighborhood, a middle-class subdivision with tree-lined streets and 50-foot wide lots. The house fronts west onto Oak Street and is set behind a modest, cultivated lawn which slopes slightly toward the street. Behind the house, a rock garden incorporates the stonework of the foundation and chimney and is enclosed by a stone wall. A garage, echoing the house in design and materials, is set at the northeast corner of the lot and reached by a straight driveway from the street. The property is in excellent condition and has had very little alteration since its construction.
Do you think you could help us out? Maybe you're friends or family with a civic planner, an architect, or a historic preservationist that you could send this along to. If this doesn't sound like your cup of tea, do you think that you'd be able to help us out in some other manner? We need to do outreach and fund-raising, and could use assistance with that. If you can even lend just a few hours of your time to this cause, I'd really appreciate it!

If you're able to help out, contact me either by email or give me a text or a call: 503.442.9703.

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