Information could be used to apply for grants and promote Woodburn's historic buildings

The Oregon State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) will conduct a survey of approximately 70 buildings in the Woodburn downtown area on Monday, a study that could potentially lead to local properties being eligible for grants and other incentives.

According to Kuri Gill, SHPO grants and outreach coordinator, the planned survey is a street-level, exterior analysis of buildings.

“We document the location, style, construction date, construction materials and eligibility to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places,” she said.

Eligibility to be on the register includes a building’s age (at least 50 years) and “historical integrity,” which takes into account the changes and additions the structure may have undergone. Buildings that have been altered, but could easily be restored to their historic character, may still be eligible, Gill said.

The survey will also include photographs. She said the work will be done entirely from the public right of way, without the need to enter the buildings. The owners of the property will not even have to be present, Gill said.

“We will compile the information and complete a report that includes a map with eligibility information, as well as statistics on the ages, styles and materials,” she said. “It will also include recommendations regarding nominating a historic district and/or individual properties.”

A listing on the National Register of Historic Places opens up the possibility of tax incentive programs and financial support for building repairs and restoration. Woodburn currently has three sites on the register: the Bank of Woodburn at 199 N. Front St., the old Woodburn City Hall at 550 N. First St. and the iconic Jesse H. Settlemier House, built by the city’s founder in 1892, at 355 N. Settlemier Ave.

Gill added that the survey would also be helpful for city planning purposes, such as those related to the Federal Emergency Management Agency or federally funded projects.

“Even without listings (on the register), the information can be used to promote the historic value of the downtown,” she said.

Woodburn is receiving the survey at no cost through its participation in the Oregon Main Street program. Gill said two two-person teams will be conducting the survey Monday. For more information, contact Gill at 503-986-0685 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..