Historic Resource Planning in Grants Pass

Historic Resources are an important element of the heritage and built environment of Grants Pass. Below is a summary of documents related to the inventory, planning, and protection of historic resources in Grants Pass.

Grants Pass has historic resources which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including the G Street Historic District and individual historic landmarks.  Grants Pass also has locally-designated historic resources, including a larger local historic district and local historic landmarks.

Historic preservation planning and programs are multi-faceted, including standards for protection and preservation, incentives, education, and other programs.

State law also governs some aspects of planning for historic resources, which are addressed under Statewide Planning Goal 5, “Natural Resources, Scenic and Historic Areas, and Open Spaces.” Some of the key state law pertaining to Goal 5 and Historic Resources is also summarized below.

Inventories

October 1, 1981 Inventory, Mayor’s Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation

Historic resources were inventoried and rated on a five-point scale from “Exceptional” to “Poor”. Resources rated as “Exceptional” in this inventory provided the original basis for the designation of local historic landmarks, as addressed in Section 13.400 of the Development Code.  The inventory included information sheets for each property, as well as the Inventory Summary containing the ratings for all of the properties inventoried.  The Summary document is linked here.

August 1992 Historic Resources Survey and Inventory of the Central Business District

An inventory and significance ranking of historic resources of the Central Business District (CBD) was conducted in 1992.  It includes chapters with background information including Historic Context.

1993 National Register Historic District Nomination Documents

This documentation was prepared for nomination of the G Street Historic District for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places.

2015/16 Historic Resources Inventory of the Central Business District, with 2017 Updates  

In advance of adopting an expanded local historic district, the historic resources inventory of the CBD was updated, and it includes an expanded inventory area.  The updated inventory cross-references the original 1992 survey information for each property if applicable.  With the updates, the eligibility evaluation ratings for each resource have been updated to the current rating conventions.

January 2017 Historic Baseline Report for UGB Expansion Areas

The City of Grants Pass and Josephine County adopted amendments to the urban Growth Boundary in December 2014.  In January 2017, a historic baseline report was completed for the expanded UGB areas, which identifies properties potentially eligible for historic designation.  Approximately 212 properties in the UGB expansion areas contained buildings more than 50 years old, and 32 of those were identified as potentially eligible.

Comprehensive Plan

Section 3 of the Policies Section of the Comprehensive Plan, “Scenic, Rogue River, Historic, and Natural Resources,” includes goals and policies addressing historic resources.

Article 3 of the Comprehensive Plan contains information about Historic Resources, including a summary of inventory information, conflicts, and findings.

Grants Pass Development Code and Municipal Code

Section 13.400 of the Grants Pass Development Code addresses regulatory protection of historic resources in Grants Pass.   It addresses applicability, procedures, design standards, and criteria for historic review.  Historic review applies to buildings within historic districts and applies to historic landmarks.  The review procedure depends on the nature of the proposal.   Chapter 9.60 of the Grants Pass Municipal Code also lists local historic landmarks.  Chapter 9.21 of the Municipal Code provides sign standards, including special provisions which apply within the historic district.

State Law

Goal 5

Goal 5 is a broad statewide planning goal that covers more than a dozen resources, including wildlife habitats, historic places, and aggregate (gravel). It was originally adopted by LCDC in 1974. Goal 5 and related Oregon Administrative Rules (Chapter 660, Divisions 16 and 23) describe how cities and counties are to address planning and protection for resources listed in the goal.

Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS)

The applicable administrative rules are authorized by ORS 197.040 and implement ORS 197.040, ORS 197.225, ORS 197.245, and ORS 197.772

Oregon Administrative Rules.  OAR 660-023-0200.  Historic Resources.

 In January 2017, the Oregon Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC) adopted amendments to the administrative rules that apply to historic resources.  The amended rules include some provisions and protections that went into effect immediately and apply directly to local land use decisions until local codes are updated to be consistent with the new rules, especially pertaining to protection of National Register historic resources.

Resources

There are numerous resources addressing historic preservation and historic resources in Grants Pass.  The resources below are only a few of the available resources.

Online Mapping

The City website has online maps with information showing the historic district and landmark properties, historic inventory data, etc.  Some information is available in the City’s internal mapping software that may not be in the online mapping tool.  Please inquire for further information.

The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties, Revised 2017

Under the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), the Secretary of the Interior is responsible for establishing professional standards and for providing guidance on the preservation of the nation’s historic properties.  The Standards apply to all grants-in-aid projects assisted through the Historic Preservation Fund.  At the national level, The Standards are regulatory only for projects receiving Historic Preservation Fund grant assistance and other federally-assisted projects.  Otherwise, the Standards and Guidelines are intended to provide general guidance for work on any historic building. Some communities have adopted these in full or part into their local historic review provisions.

Historic Interest

Historic Grants Pass

This page includes a map of the Historic District with a list and descriptions of historic buildings in the district.  It also has links to online interactive walking tours, which are also mobile-device friendly.

Events in and around the Historic District

There are many events in and around the Historic District and other historic areas throughout the year.  See the event calendars for TravelGrantsPass.com and the Josephine County Historical Society for upcoming events.

Artistry in Mortar & Brick

This publication by Michael L. Oaks has a wealth of information.  The electronic version includes hyperlinks and can be reviewed at the Parks & Community Development Department.

Links

Grants Pass Historical Buildings and Sites Commission
State of Oregon Historic Preservation Office
National Park Service - Historic Preservation
National Register of Historic Places

Josephine County Historical Society
Southern Oregon Historical Society
Restore Oregon (formerly Historic Preservation League of Oregon)
National Trust for Historic Preservation

Oregon Travel Experience
Oregon Heritage

Josephine County Historical Society - Historic Schmidt House Museum and Research Library 
Online Book Shop – Historic Photos for Sale – Living History  
512 SW 5th Street,
Grants Pass, OR  97526
Telephone: 541-479-7827
Website: www.jocohistorical.org
Email: jchistoricalsociety@gmail.com

Sundays Make History.     Each Sunday in the Grants Pass Daily Courier

The Historian Newsletter. Available at www.jocohistorical.org