The City of La Grande and La Grande Landmarks Commission announce the Northeast Oregon Preservation Workshop: Materials, Methods, and Marketing for Historic Downtowns on Friday, March 6 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Art Center East, 1006 Penn Ave., La Grande.

With a series of sessions crafted to appeal to contractors, owners of historic buildings, developers, real estate professionals, history buffs, and homeowners, this full-day workshop is an opportunity for the Northeast Oregon community to build knowledge about maintaining and restoring historic buildings.

In addition to the presentations, vendor tables and informational materials will be available with additional preservation resources.


Space is limited and registration is recommended. Cost for the full-day workshop is $10 and includes lunch. Continuing education credits are available for contractors and real estate brokers at the rates listed below:

Register HERE

Continuing Education Credits for Contractors and Real Estate Agents

  • Practical Wood Window Restoration & Repair: Add $40 for 4 Construction Contractors Board (CCB) Continuing Education Credits
  • Brick & Clay Masonry: Add $40 for 4 Construction Contractors Board (CCB) Continuing Education Credits
  • Historic Properties 101: Add $40 for 4 Real Estate Broker Continuing Education Credits
  • Attend full day event (8 a.m. to 3 p.m.): Add $65 for 7 Construction Contractors Board (CCB) Continuing Education Credits

Workshop Descriptions and Presenter Bios

Welcome and Debut of Landmarks Conceptual Design Program

8-8:30 a.m.
The La Grande Landmarks Commissioners will introduce the designs from the City’s Fall 2019 Conceptual Design Program. Three buildings in the commercial historic district – the Peare Building, Bohenkamp Building, and Pat’s Alley – were matched with architects to envision a facade renovation in keeping with the District’s historic guidelines. Coffee and breakfast generously sponsored by the Energy Trust of Oregon.

Historic Preservation: Tools of the Trade

8:30-9:45 a.m.

Presenter: Lucien Swerdloff, Clatsop Community College

Lucien’s presentation will kick-off the workshop with an overview of preservation techniques tools, and materials, with a focus on the contracting trades. Lucien will also give a brief overview of the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards (the national-level standards for all registered historic properties and districts) and present case studies of preservation projects.

Lucien Swerdloff is the program coordinator and an instructor in the Historic Preservation and the Computer Aided Design programs at Clatsop Community College. He earned Master of Architecture and Master of Science degrees from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He has organized numerous preservation workshops throughout Oregon and Washington and worked on the restoration of many historic structures. Lucien is on the boards of Columbia Pacific Preservation and the Lower Columbia Preservation Society, engaging in and advocating for the preservation of historic resources that contribute to history, culture, and sense of place.

Historic Properties 101

10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Presenter: Risa Davis, Principal Broker

When marketing a historic residential or commercial building, bring your clients and customers the best information about the benefits and rules of owning historic property. Risa’s discussion will include:

  • History of the National Register of Historic Places, proper verbiage, and the difference between a building being individually registered and being part of a Historic District
  • Myths around National Register properties – can you update or remodel?
  • How the greenest building is one that is already built and the true environmental costs of new building materials
  • Overview of architectural styles in Eastern Oregon
  • Federal, state and local financial incentives for historic properties

Risa’s presentation will include a short walking tour of the residential neighborhood near Art Center East, so please wear good walking shoes!

Risa Davis is a real estate veteran of 17 years. She served on the board of the Architectural Heritage Center in Portland for 4 years and was instrumental in the concept of the Oregon Main Street Revitalization Grant program. Risa has received Historic Preservation Leadership Training levels 1 and 2 through the National Trust for Historic Preservation. She has taught real estate continuing education classes on behalf of various governmental agencies to realtors in Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, and South Dakota.

Practical Wood Window Restoration and Repair

10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Presenter: Chris Gustafson, Vintage Window Restoration LLC

Chris’ hands-on workshop will demonstrate basic techniques for bringing wood windows back to life and full operation, in accordance with the Secretary of the Interior historic standards. Window preservation is key to reducing extensive costs from deferred maintenance in a historic structure. Chris will review how to address failing paint, lead paint, loose glazing putty, broken sash cord, windows painted shut, and fraying wood due to solar exposure and simply time and use. Chris will also talk about next steps in restoration when windows components are “too far gone” for simple maintenance.

Chris Gustafson is the creator and operator of Vintage Window Restoration LLC based in Albany, Oregon. After completing two years of Historic Preservation Trade School at Clatsop Community College’s Historic Preservation and Restoration Program, Chris is approaching his eighth year in business and seven years in training others solely on historic wood window restoration, manufacture, and repair. Working across Oregon and Idaho, Chris has worked on structures dating from the 1850s to 1940s. View his website at for more information.

Brick & Clay Masonry:  Materials & Methods, Deterioration & Repair

10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Presenter: Brian Rich, Richaven Architecture & Preservation

Many Eastern Oregon historic buildings were constructed with masonry, and maintenance and understanding of masonry’s structural and aesthetic performance is critical to helping building owners protect their investment. Using Art Center East – La Grande’s historic Carnegie Library – as a case study, Brian will review the components of masonry and mortar, historic installation practices, what makes masonry deteriorate, and how to repair and renovate masonry buildings.

Brian D. Rich, AIA, LEED BD+C, CCCA, PMP, sUAS, is a LEED Accredited Historic Preservation Architect and Principal of Richaven Architecture and Preservation.  Brian has over 28 years of professional experience in architecture, historic preservation, and construction management.  Brian has completed over 160 projects including 108 renovations of existing buildings, 44 designated or eligible landmarks, 26 phased projects and 64 occupied-facility projects, garnering over 20 personal and project awards.  Brian is also a licensed drone pilot and provides aerial project documentation and assessment for my historic building projects.  Brian earned his Bachelor’s Degree, cum laude, from the University of Notre Dame, and is completing his Master’s Degree in Architecture and Certificate in Historic Preservation at the UW.  His thesis work focuses on future-proofing historic buildings.

Among his many volunteer activities, Brian is President of APT Northwest, member of the Washington State Heritage Barn Advisory Committee, Board Member at the historic University Heights Community Center, and past chair of the King County Landmarks Commission on which he served for 9 years.  Brian was invited to the 2015 AIA Resilience Summit as a subject matter expert and selected as a subject matter expert for the USGBC’s Resilience Working Group.  Brian was also an inaugural member of the UW Alumni Association’s GOLD Council and an inaugural recipient of the Husky 100 Award.

Energy Incentives for Historic Buildings

2-3 p.m.

Energy Trust of Oregon and Oregon Trail Electric Coop (OTEC) will present an overview of their energy incentive programs for commercial and residential buildings.

Happy Hour Case Study: Haskell Building, Baker City

3-4 p.m.

Presenter: Carol Phillips, Haskell Building Owner and Joy Sears, Oregon State Historic Preservation Office

In 2019, life-long Baker City resident Carol Phillips retired from a 29-year career at OTEC. Carol only recently became involved in historic preservation when she purchased the Haskell Building in downtown Baker City for her daughter’s picture framing business. Starting in January 2017, Carol and her contracting team spent a year and a half stripping layers of “improvements” back to the brick walls and wood floor in the street level space. Carol currently serves as the president of the Baker City Main Street program and as a commissioner on the Baker City Historic District Design Review Commission. In 2019, the Haskell Building was awarded a $200,000 grant from Oregon Main Street to continue restoration work on the second floor of the building, which formerly served as the Baker Elks Lodge.

Thanks to our sponsors!

This event made possible through grants from the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office and the Northwest Heritage Fund of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Other sponsors include the City of La Grande, Energy Trust of Oregon, Oregon Trail Electric Coop, Art Center East, La Grande Main Street Downtown, Union County Chamber of Commerce, Miller’s Home Center, The Landing Hotel, Richaven Architecture & Preservation, and the Association for Preservation Technology Northwest Chapter.

This event has been funded with the assistance of a matching grant-in-aid from the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office and the Historic Preservation Fund, National Park Service, Department of the Interior. Any opinion, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of the Interior. Regulations of the U.S. Department of the Interior strictly prohibit unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, age or handicap. Any person who believes he or she has been discriminated against in any program, activity, or facility operated by a recipient of Federal assistance should write to: Office of Equal Opportunity, National Park Service, 1201 Eye Street, NW (2740) Washington, DC 20005.