Oregon City Municipal Elevator Oregon City, Oregon

National Register of Historic Places Data

The Oregon City Municipal Elevator has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places with the following information, which has been imported from the National Register database and/or the Nomination Form . Please note that not all available data may be shown here, minor errors and/or formatting may have occurred during transcription, and some information may have become outdated since listing.

National Register ID
Date Listed
May 15, 2014
Oregon City Municipal Elevator
Part of
N/A (Multiple Property Submission)
610 Bluff St.
Oregon City
Level of Sig.
Areas of Sig.


Text courtesy of the National Register of Historic Places, a program of the National Parks Service. Minor transcription errors or changes in formatting may have occurred; please see the Nomination Form PDF for official text. Some information may have become outdated since the property was nominated for the Register.

The Municipal Elevator is eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places as a locally significant structure, eligible under Criterion A: Transportation, as an ingenious solution to a topographical challenge. Oregon City was built on a series of three bluffs. The first and the second levels are separated by a sheer basalt cliff. A railroad track hugs the base of the cliff . This elevator was designed to swiftly move passengers between one level and the other while helping them cross safely below the railroad tracks. The elevator is therefore a unique and highly practical response to the city's dramatic landscape and its intrinsic challenges for pedestrians. Furthermore , the elevator is eligible under Criterion A: Entertainment/Recreation. The elevator's observation deck was designed to be a public attraction, as well as to provide unparalleled views of the city below and the Willamette River. The elevator is also eligible under Criterion C: Architecture as an intact and unique example of a Modern, futuristic approach to design in Oregon City. The elevator uses modern materials like lightweight concrete to create the illusion that its observatory is hovering in space, providing sky-high views of the city below. The elevator's designer, Gordon E. Trapp, broke with historic architectural traditions to create a new, sleek, Modernist icon for Oregon City. The Municipal Elevator retains a very high level of integrity in design, workmanship, materials , location, site, and setting, feeling and association.