Competition launched for historic US riverside site
The Willamette Falls was an important cultural and gathering place for Native American tribes. The Oregon Trail ended here and throughout the 1800s the falls generated energy for Oregon’s early industries and cities, as well as fuelling the US’s first long-distance electrical power transmission. This industrial legacy ended in 2011, when the Blue Heron Paper Company closed its doors – the last in a succession of businesses that contributed to Oregon City’s working waterfront.
The site’s complexity and risks still create a hurdle for transformation, says Oregon Metro. It, together with Oregon City, Clackamas County, the State of Oregon and the owner joined forces to develop a vision and masterplan for the Willamette Falls Legacy Project in 2013-2014.
This was completed late last year and identifies key areas for public access, open space and development. It re-establishes a Main Street grid ‘and creates connections for people to view the majestic Willamette Falls’.