We have previously written about Tetherow Crossing Park northwest of Redmond, where RAPRD owns the oldest structure in Deschutes County, the Tetherow Homestead. We are working to preserve this important piece of Central Oregon heritage and restore it as a multi-use public space. The possibilities for its use are endless: classroom, art studio, wedding venue, conference room, yoga gym, family reunion BBQ and picnic spot.
We’ve made a lot of great progress since our last blog post about the Tetherow House and our efforts to save it. We are starting to fundraise for the brick and mortar preservation and construction work, so feel free to share this post with local history and preservation-minded folks. As part of our fundraising and awareness raising, we are happy to arrange for a site tour for small groups interested in the project, just send us an email.
In 2017, we successfully met our fundraising goal to support the planning work for the restoration. We are very grateful to our donors, the Roundhouse Foundation and the Hodecker Family (through the Oregon Community Foundation) for believing in this project.
Their donations, in addition to RAPRD’s own contribution from our operating funds, meant that our search for an architect to take on the project could begin. We released our Request for Proposals for the planning work in July, but unfortunately, that bidding process, which concluded in August, only generated one bid. This sole bid was over our estimated budget, so the Board decided to put the planning project out for bid one more time. With the help of Restore Oregon, a Portland-based non-profit, we were able to widely circulate our RFP for a second round of bidding.
Restore Oregon was also instrumental in helping us secure a grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation in October. Our application with their endorsement must have been persuasive, because we were awarded $4,800 toward the planning work
During the fall, we received comments and questions from a number of architecture firms and we provided the opportunity for a site tour. At the deadline in November, we received two bids, both with historic preservation experience and both within our budget. The RAPRD Board reviewed these and made their selection on December 12th.
The Board selected Stemach Design + Architecture, a family-owned Bend-based firm with experience repurposing historic buildings for modern uses in the Central Oregon community. Some of their projects include the Pine Tavern remodel, the old Box Factory site renovation and redevelopment, and feasibility studies for expansion of the Bowman Museum in Prineville, including relocation of the caboose. The contract is signed and they are set to begin work in January. Their bid for the architecture and engineering planning work also includes providing estimates for construction costs. We expect the plans to be completed in May.
In another recent development, the 2018 class of Leadership Redmond, a program put on by the Redmond Chamber of Commerce is also working on the Tetherow project. Each class picks a handful of service projects and one team has chosen to work on Tetherow-related awareness-raising. The goal of this team is to increase public awareness of the homestead and highlight our efforts to save it. They plan to develop marketing materials, including digital video (with drone footage), and also a toolkit teachers can use to incorporate the Tetherow story into a unit on Redmond history.
Finally, Redmond Area Park and Recreation District is working with the Deschutes Land Trust, the Deschutes County Landmarks Commission, the Deschutes County History Museum, the Redmond Library, and other local organizations on the planning for Preservation Month in May. Subscribe to our blog to get updates on all our projects and the historic preservation events and activities we will be involved in this spring.
If you have questions about the Tetherow Homestead preservation project, or want to arrange a tour of the property, please email Margaret.firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to make a donation, you can use our online form, donate in person at Cascade Swim Center, or send a check to RAPRD at PO Box 843, Redmond, OR 97756. In addition, we are interested in programs and events that will bring more people out to Tetherow Crossing Park. If you have special skills such as bird watching, photography, art, ecology, etc. and would like to put on a program for kids or adults, we’d love to hear from you!