Restore Oregon fights for most endangered places

Restore Oregon has already helped 44 places in 7 years

The Wong Laundry Building in Old Town/Chinatown is one of the locations Restore Oregon will try to save. (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Oregon is full of historic buildings, structures, neighborhoods and even boats, many of which are on a list of endangered locations issued by a group that’s trying to save them.

Restore Oregon has been working for 7 years to restore endangered locations and has already helped 44 places since it was founded in 2011.

“It hurts to see these buildings come down, the history and culture and craftsmanship and the embodied energy lost,” Peggy Moretti, executive director of Restore Oregon, said.

Restore Oregon’s list of endangered places

The 2018 edition of Oregon’s Most Endangered Places features 12 locations nominated by the public, which Restore Oregon will try to save. Some of them may be familiar, like the Jantzen Beach Carousel, the Tourist #2 ferry in Astoria and the Wong Laundry Building in Old Town/Chinatown.

The Wong Laundry was built in 1908 and according to the Restore Oregon website, “played a significant role in the evolution of both Portland’s New Chinatown and Nihonmachi, or Japantown.” It was occupied by various businesses before it became a Chinese hand laundry owned by Kai Young Wong, but has been vacant since a fire damaged it in the 1970s.

“It’s very significant in the history of that community and it is in grave danger it needs to be re-purposed and restored,” Moretti said. ”

It’s just one of the man locations Restore Oregon wants to save because of its historical value and cultural impact.

“There is a lot of pressure on historic places right now, between economics and growth,” Moretti said. “Communities need to evolve and places need to change and now is an important time to remember what we are losing and what is replacing them. We have some tough challenges ahead.”

Restore Oregon said there are already locations from the past few years that are already on a good path to being preserved, re-purposed and reused for their community.

“Once they are gone they are gone forever,” Moretti said. “These are the places that define our state and local communities and they give a unique sense of place and in that sense they are invaluable.”