PROJECT -- Meeting at the city auditorium part of a collaborative effort to preserve structures

Forest Grove will become a haven for history buffs next week when it plays host to an award-winning workshop on the preservation of structures.

The workshop, to be held from 1-5 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 2, will include a history of Oregon's historical structures, information on research strategies and an overview of preservation assistance and funding opportunities.

The workshop, which will be repeated Dec. 11 in Portland, is part of a collaborative project of the Oregon Heritage Commission, Oregon Historical Society and the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office.

Earlier this year, the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers awarded the project two awards. The project has been supported with funds from the Oregon Cultural Trust.

Mary Jo Morelli, a board member of The Friends of Historic Forest Grove, said she and another board member heard about the workshop while attending the Oregon Heritage Conference in North Bend in May.

'We mentioned an interest in bringing it to Forest Grove at that time,' she said.

Their effort was aided by Amy McAuley, who restored the windows of the historic A.T. Smith House south of town, Morelli said.

McAuley is a neighbor of historian Richard Engeman, one of the workshop presenters.

'He's been hearing from her about what is going on out here,' Morelli said.

The workshop, titled 'Wooden Beams and Railroad Ties: Preserving Oregon's Built Environment,' will be free and open to the public. It will be held in the Forest Grove City Auditorium, 1915 Main St.

Designed for anyone interested in heritage, history and preservation, the workshop will be of particular interest to individuals and organizations who own or occupy historic buildings, landmarks commission members, historical society members, planners and other public officials.

Engeman said the workshop will focus on 'becoming aware of the array of historic resources around us, from farmhouses and agricultural landscapes, to small-town main streets and suburban split-levels.'

The city and its Historic Landmarks Board are workshop co-sponsors along with Friends of Historic Forest Grove.

Morelli credits the restoration of the Smith house, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Homes, with landing the prestigious forum in Forest Grove.

'We have had professionals from both Oregon and Washington doing evaluations on the house,' she said. 'Each time another qualified professional looks at the structure or reviews the supporting documentation, they talk to other people. Word has spread about the quality of craftsmanship that went into this house as well its historic integrity.

Pre-registration is encouraged. For information and registration, contact Richard Engeman at 503-235-9032, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or Kyle Jansson, 503-986-0673, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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