The Saling House, Weston
- Built: 1880
- Designation: National Register of Historic Places
News and Updates
Community advocates have thus far been unable to develop and execute reuse plan; unlikely to be reused as museum
June 10, 2013:
Saling House Listed as a Most Endangered Place
The Saling House is an unusual and important Oregon example of the Italian Villa architectural style. Built by a prominent local businessman, the house is one of Umatilla County’s grandest – and an example for many small towns seeking to retain the landmark house at the center of local history.
The Saling House has stood as Weston’s most prominent residence since its construction in 1880. The original owner, Isham Saling, was a local farmer and business owner who, at one time, owned not only the house but three stores on Main Street and 320 acres of farmland adjacent to the City of Weston. After the Great Depression, the house began to fall into disrepair as Weston’s economic stability declined. In 1976 the house was purchased by the Isham Saling House Restoration Committee with the intent of reusing the building as a local museum.
Why it’s Endangered
Although the house has been in nonprofit ownership since 1976, the building has never successfully operated as a museum and insufficient funding has compounded condition issues that began as early as the 1930s. Today, the foundations and walls of the building are failing, with large cracks and mortar loss on all elevations. A viable use and at least $300,000 in rehabilitation funds must be identified for the Saling House to have a future.
Although locals have long envisioned a museum use for the Saling House, house museums are rarely economically sustainable. An alternate use must be identified to justify the high cost of rehabilitation. Partnerships and a strategy for fundraising and cash flow should be developed by May 2014.