Some of the Endangered Places are particularly beautiful. The Alvin T. Smith House in Forest Grove, for example, is the city's oldest and dates to 1854: a blend of Classical Greek Revival style with the practicality of an old farmhouse. The Concord School in Oak Grove embodies Depression-era public works architecture, modest yet grand, rendering in brick a fusion of traditional and modern architectural forms.

Novelist and historian John Dos Passos once wrote, "In times of change and danger when there is a quicksand of fear under men's reasoning, a sense of continuity with generations gone before can stretch like a lifeline across the scary present."

I was reminded of that quote recently when the historic-preservation nonprofit Restore Oregon released its annual Most Endangered Places list. Although it includes buildings and places throughout the state — a wharf building in Astoria, an Elks lodge in Medford, a guard station in the Mt. Hood National Forest — many of the historic landmarks on the list are in the greater Portland metro area. That makes them our collective responsibility.COURTESY: BRIAN LIBBY - The Alvin T. Smith House is Forst Groves oldest building, dating to 1854.

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