The Lake Oswego Preservation Society is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in 2011. Our mission is to preserve, protect and advocate on behalf of Lake Oswego’s built heritage. We are an all volunteer organization with a focus on the social, economic and environmental benefits of preserving our built heritage.
As our community works towards greater sustainability, preservation is key. One of the Society’s goals is to change the mindset that recycles bottles and cans, but throws entire buildings into landfills.
We have received recognition, both locally and statewide, for our historic preservation advocacy on behalf of Lake Oswego landmarks.
- In 2017, the Society signed the lease for the historic Iron Worker’s Cottage at 40 Wilbur Street. This last remaining iron-era residence now houses the Iron Workers Museum with exhibits, public open hours and lectures. The museum is available to organizations for meetings and other local history related events.
- The Society made history when, in 2016 the Oregon Supreme Court decided Lake Oswego Preservation Society v. City of Lake Oswego in our favor. This ruling saves Lake Oswego’s oldest house, the 1855 Carman House, from delisting under the state statute in addition to setting a precedent that could save 3,200 historic properties across the state. This is the first time the Oregon Supreme Court has heard a historic preservation issue. In 2013 the Society began its efforts to save the Carman House. City Council removed the historic designation to clear the way for demolition. The Society appealed this decision to Oregon’s Land Use Board of Appeals.
- We received the City of Lake Oswego’s 2017 Historic Preservation Merit Award for our landmark Oregon Supreme Court case which saved the Carman House and set a precedent that could save many thousands of other historic properties across Oregon.
- Oregon’s Iron Jubilee: Celebrating the First Iron Furnace on the Pacific Coast was held on Saturday, September 9th 2017. It was co-sponsored by the City of Lake Oswego and festivities included a pioneer baseball game, horse-drawn wagon rides, food, bluegrass music, a companion exhibit on the iron industry in the Iron Workers Museum, and furnace tours.
- The Society successfully nominated the City of Lake Oswego for Restore Oregon’s 2017 DeMuro award in honor of the City’s painstaking restoration of the Iron Company Worker’s Cottage.
- The Society saved the landmark Carter House by proactively finding a new steward for this historic property.
- The Reel Lake Oswego, a film legacy for the community from home movies and footage in the Oregon Historical Society’s collection spanning the 1920s through the 1960s had its initial screening at the Lake Theater in 2015.
- In 2015, our then president, Marylou Colver, received the Excellence in Community Service Award from the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution for her historic preservation advocacy.
- In 2014, the Society successfully testified on behalf of saving the 1908 Christie School administration building at Marylhurst.
- We successfully lobbied in 2013 for a City-funded preservation grant incentive program for Landmark properties.
- The Society became a Willamette Falls Heritage Area Coalition partner in 2013. If this designation is approved by Congress, it will be the first National Heritage Area in Oregon
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