By Luke Burton, The Charter Feature News
Oregon City’s Main Street named 2018 Great American Main Street, at a national conference in Kansas City, Missouri, on March 26.
Oregon City (OC) was nominated as a semifinalist, along with nine other cities, the week before the national conference. At the conference, OC was named one of three 2018 Great American Main Streets. The other winners were Howell, Michigan and Rock Springs, Wyoming. According to the Downtown Oregon City Association
“Since 2009, about $42 million has been invested into downtown Oregon City through public and private investments. These investments have resulted in 28 new businesses and dropped the vacancy rate from about 34% to less than 10%. More than $90 million, in addition, is planned within the next 4 years along with the Cove Apartments. All these investments and improvements in downtown no doubt helped OC land the name, 2018 Great American Main Street.”
One winning feature of downtown Oregon City is the elevator. Connecting two parts of the city, the Oregon City elevator is located directly in the middle of downtown. The elevator is one of the main attractions when you visit Oregon City. The elevator also has been a canvas for video and picture projection, (seen in the picture on the left) The City surveyed and platted the vertical “Elevator Street” and entered into a contract with Oregon Bridge and Construction Company to construct the elevator. The elevator was first built in 1915 out of wood and steal but eventually it became too dangerous for people to ride. The elevator that we see now took over 751 tons of concrete and steel to construct, is 130 feet high, and passengers can reach the top in 15 seconds. The Oregon City Elevator continues to operate as one of only four municipal elevators in the world and “Elevator Street” remains the only “vertical street” in North America.
In a story post by FOX 12 on march 26, 2018, 7:30 PM PDT, Sheri Stuart, coordinator of the statewide Oregon Main Street program stated, “We are extremely proud of the Downtown Oregon City Association for being recognized as a GAMSA winner this year, I have worked with hundreds of main street communities in 24 states over the past 27 years at the state, local, and national levels. The transformation of downtown Oregon City in a relatively short amount of time is nothing short of amazing, especially since their revitalization efforts began at the start of the economic downturn.”
FOX 12 staff said in their “Downtown Oregon City wins Great American Main Street Award” “Downtown Oregon City is the first ever community in Oregon and the first in the last 8 years on the West Coast to win the Great American Main Street Award.”
https://www.downtownoregoncity.org/about/eid/ date accessed 5/7/18
https://www.orcity.org/publicworks/municipal-elevator date accessed 5/9/18