Wallowa Ranger Station, 602 First Street, Wallowa, Wallowa County, OR
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602 First Street, Wallowa, OR
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Documentation compiled after 1933.
Survey number HABS OR-157
Significance: The Wallowa Ranger Station compound is historically significant as it represents a fifty-four year period in which the Forest Service was active within the town of Wallowa. Wallowa was the original location of the Supervisor's Office after the formation of the Wallowa Forest Reserve in 1907 and also was the headquarters for several Ranger Districts. Though these buildings are from a later period, they are the only remaining significant structures associated with the Forest Service within the town of Wallowa which signify the Forest Service's involvement in the community. Historically, the Wallowa Ranger Station is significant on a regional level for its associations with the Civilian Conservation Corps. It represents the work performed under a unique direct-aid work-relief program established in a response to the Depression. Architecturally significant as well as historically, the Wallowa Ranger Station is an intact excellent representative example of Civilian Conservation Corps era site planning and construction style. The interest in comprehensive site planning by the Forest Service culminated in the Depression era administrative sites. Buildings were organized to function efficiently with the least interruption in activities. The Wallowa Ranger Station embodies these planning principles through the careful placement of the five buildings on the site. The office it the most publicly accessible building on the site, located at the corner of First and Madison streets. All of the utilitarian buildings are located directly south of the office. Located west of the office, the residence is set apart from the other four buildings. The Rustic Style was adopted by the Forest Service during a period of general interest in revival styles, however it was further developed as a non-intrusive style. Ellis Groben, compiler of "Acceptable Plans: Forest Service Administrative Buildings" states "No matter how well buildings may be designed, with few exceptions, they seldom enhance the beauty of their natural settings." He suggests, "...erecting only such structures as are absolutely essential and then only of such designs which harmonize with, or are the least objectionable to nature's particular environment." Groben favored a regional style rather than a universal style. He encouraged each region to base its architectural styles upon "climatic considerations, vegetation and forest cover." The Wallowa Ranger Station exemplifies this Forest Service design philosophy through the use of simple forms and natural materials and colors. The buildings are distinctly regional and site specific, being more residential in character than other depression era administrative buildings located in remote mountainous areas. The materials used are also regional, coming from local and regional sources (fir, river rock, and Idaho cedar). The significant features include wide horizontal cedar siding combined with board and batten, stone masonry, multi-pane double hung wood sash windows with shutters, squared timber posts with curved brackets, wrought-iron light fixtures and hardware, and the U.S. Forest Service tree symbol. Interior features include knotty pine paneling, river-rock fireplace, and decorative crown molding.
Historic American Buildings Survey (Library of Congress)
1. VIEW OF OFFICE AND FIRE EQUIPMENT STORAGE BUILDING FROM FIRST STREET, FACING SOUTH.
2. VIEW OF WALLOWA RANGER STATION, OFFICE, FIRE EQUIPMENT BUILDING, GARAGE, AND GAS HOUSE, FACING NORTHEAST.
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