Civic Stadium was built in 1938 as a partnership of city government, the business community, Eugene citizens and the Works Progress Administration (WPA). What they built was a Douglas fir masterpiece that became a magnet for area youngsters and their families. Summer evenings at Civic watching a ballgame, a moonrise and with new friends sitting beside you are a fond memory of those who grew up in Eugene from the 70's to 2009.
The raging summer fire that consumed Civic in 2015 seemed to crush the dreams of those who had fought to restore the grandstand for continued use by the community but Eugene Civic Alliance has persisted with a plan to create a new home for Kidsports and a venue worthy of the name Civic. Civic Park is now under construction and is scheduled to open in 2020.
(Photos courtesy of "Eugene's Civic Stadium" by Joe Blakely (roofless stands) Greg Giesy (fire) and Marv VanWyck (post fire)).
A century ago Eugene's hospital was located on College Hill. To connect the closest College Crest trolley stop on Willamette Street to the hospital, stairs were constructed in 1910. Though both the hospital and the trolley disappeared in the mid-1920s, the stairs remain across Willamette from Civic Park.
The stairs, perhaps the last of their kind, connected to one of Eugene’s trolley routes, part of a streetcar system that was once described as the greatest for a small city in the United States. The pioneer railway is remembered for having employed Wiley Griffin (in picture above right), Oregon’s first black trolley operator.
Gwynne McLaughlin is currently spearheading an effort to paint a mural on the stairs to honor their history while preventing the graffiti that has plagued them. Grant funding has been secured and artists will soon be selected. To volunteer to prepare the surface or cheer on the project, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Black and White Images Property of Lane County History Museum. Used by Permission.)
(Historical information compliments of Andrew Fisher.)