Springfield Art History Walk

November 3, 2006

Sixteen of us were delighted that the rain held off for our walk in downtown Springfield. We met at the Springfield Depot at 9:00 where I gave everyone a Ziploc bag with two maps: A Walk of Art; A Self-guided Cultural Tour and the Wasburne Historic District. A representative of the Chamber of Commerce gave a short talk about the history of the depot. From the depot, we walked a few blocks east to admire the long Lane Transit Depot tile mural of the forest beginning at one end with sunrise and spreading toward flying bats at evening. We then followed the map to view 18 diverse examples of community art and buildings. The McKenzie River Mural and Bob the Dog Visits the Old Growth were among the first surprises for those that were unfamiliar with Springfield. The Oregon Trail Mural at 500 Main Street had 43 subjects for us to discover. Stopping at The Moderns on the west wall at 602 Main Street, we picked out Van Gogh, Fitzgerald, Gauguin, Lautrec, Duncan, and Hugo. Still under construction, the Wildish Theater, 3A Academy, and the five story St. Vincent DePaul building will certainly add more spirit to downtown.

In front of City Hall we smiled at the whimsical Balancing Act sculpture featured a rhino balancing a gymnast holding a bird of Prey. Then it was up the stairs to the City Hall Gallery for exhibits and historical photographs. Too bad we didn’t have enough time to explore the Emerald Arts Gallery and the Springfield Museum.

With the Washburne map in hand, we now began walking through the residential area looking for 15 homes, examples of bungalow, homestead, Queen Ann, and Colonial styles. We saw many other houses with the historical signs identifying the name of the original occupants and the year it was built.

By 11:00, we were back downtown ready for lunch. Some went to Joaquin’s for homemade tamales while others went to Ruthie’s B. The rain started while we were at lunch! It was an out of the ordinary trip for all of us. My thanks to nonmember, Mindy Hollenbeck, who scouted out the trip with me and planned the route, to Sharon Duncan for collecting the fees, and to Barb Revere for sweeping. Susanne Clark, Daniele Delaby, Sharon Duncan. Gisele Garrity, Joanne Gulsvig, Jane Hackett, Mindy Hollenbeck, Yuan Hopkins, Janet Jacobsen (leader), Terri Mason, Carol Petty, Dorothy Quirk, Ginny Reich, Barb Revere, Barbara Schomaker, Barb Sutherland.

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