Uppertown Net Loft, Astoria

Uppertown Net Loft, Astoria


Nets drying outside another Union Fishing building in Astoria


Artist Royal Nebeker’s space in the Net Loft


Repairs to the pilings and supports

Big-Red-Supp-Photos_webCrop NetLoft-after-storm_webCrop Net-Loft-March-2012_webCrop

Uppertown Net Loft, Astoria


  • Location: 100 31st Street, Astoria
  • Built: c.1900
  • Architect: Union Fishermen’s Cooperative Packing Company
  • Designation: Eligible for National Register of Historic Places
  • Significance: Significance: The Union Fishermen’s Cooperative Packing Company’s Uppertown Net Loft is a significant reminder of the Columbia River’s salmon fishing and canning industry of the late 1800s and early 1900s.

News and Updates

Summer 2016
  • Net Loft stabilized to allow accessibility
  • Met with owner of the Net Loft to discuss next steps to ensure its sustainability
September 2014:

Renowned artist and instructor Royal Nebeker, owner of the Uppertown Net Loft, passed away on September 6. Future ownership of the building is uncertain.

May 2013

Failing pilings repaired

May 23, 2013

Art on the move

January 9, 2013

Restore Oregon awards $2,500 grant to replace failing pilings under building.

June 5, 2012:

Most endangered status puts spotlight on Net Loft

Outlet: Daily Astorian

June 4, 2012:

Preservationists try to save Uppertown Net Loft in Astoria

Outlet: Daily Journal of Commerce


The salmon canning industry was one of Astoria’s greatest early commercial successes. Introduced to Astoria in 1866, by 1884 there were thirty-nine packing plants on the Columbia River. Over two thousand boats would compete for the peak of the salmon harvest; most of these boats were owned by the canneries who set prices and rented bunkhouse space to fishermen. These canneries and their accessory buildings once dominated the waterfronts of towns up and down the Columbia. Now, very few of these buildings remain.

In 1897, Union Fishermen’s Cooperative Packing Company was founded, owned, and operated by primarily Finnish immigrant fishermen to engage in the salmon canning trade. As the cannery grew, the company built satellite stations where fishermen could drop fish to be packed out or processed. The Uppertown Net Loft was one of these.

Sitting high on pilings, fifty yards out into the river, the building strikes an elegant and inspiring stance. For many locals, the building is part of the fabric and soul of Astoria itself… few can imagine Astoria without it.

-David Plechl, The Daily Astorian 12/19/2007

Why is it Endangered?

On December 1, 2007, a violent winter storm tore the top story off the building. Winds of a hundred and forty miles per hour destroyed windows on the north, south, and west sides, and ripped off half of the north wall.

p>Although a new flat roof has been installed, the wiring has been replaced, and work has commenced on securing the foundation of the building, the condition of the building is still dire. The community has formed a 501(c)3 nonprofit, WHARF, to explore the adaptive reuse of the Net Loft as community-based artist space but significant preservation planning and rehabilitation dollars are needed to get the project off the ground.

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