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Wooden Jewel Box on the Southern Coast

Placed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2015, and named one of Oregon’s Most Endangered Places that same year, the 1896 Lindberg House in Port Orford is a stunning example of the Queen Anne style and shingle-siding craftsmanship.

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The house was designed and built by John Peter Lindberg between 1892 and 1896, and features several distinctive characteristics of the Queen Anne style. Most noticeably there are off-set cross gables, carved decorative wood features, and a corner tower.

The artistry shown by Mr. Lindberg in his shingle work is outstanding, incorporating at least three different shapes into his patterns.The stunning shingle work is original to the home, with some maintenance and replacement work having been done very well to maintain the character of the original detailing.

Kenny Gunn, Historic Preservation Specialist with Summit Solutions Group, wrote the National Register Nomination in 2015 and has since continued his work on the Lindberg House. His love affair began because,

The craftsmanship and aesthetic value of the shingles and other wood features is unlike anything I have seen, especially since it has remained unpainted since construction was completed in 1896.

Gunn also states, “The shingles on the south elevation appear to have been replaced most recently based on their condition when compared to shingles on other areas of the exterior, whereas the shingles on the east elevation appear to be in the worst condition and feature Oregon’s native son: moss. The wood window sills and corresponding wood windows are exterior wood features that have been replaced periodically and feature a high-degree of deterioration.

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As one might imagine, decades of life on the South Coast have left deferred maintenance issues piling up. With a Restore Oregon seed grant of $2,500, the Port Orford Historic Preservation Commission has contracted with Summit Solutions Group to produce a Historic Preservation Plan which is intended to reiterate the significance of the design of the Lindberg House, prepare a detailed condition assessment, and establish a preservation and rehabilitation plan to ensure the integrity of the building for the future.

Gunn says “The primary condition concerns on the exterior of Peter John Lindberg House are associated with the deterioration and sinking of the foundation and the penetration of water into the interior of the structure through the roof. The house is supported by a post-and-pier foundation that is exposed to exterior elements due to the lack of a perimeter seal around the base of the house.”

“A visual assessment of the foundation shows that several shoring efforts and reinforcements have been attempted to extend the life of the foundation, however the condition and structural integrity of the foundation is a major concern and may require immediate rehabilitation or reconstruction. The exterior shingling and decorative trim work is all made up of wood and appears to be in relatively good condition. Varying degrees of deterioration indicate that areas of shingles and decorative trim work have been replaced in-kind at different periods in the history of the Lindberg House.”

Once the condition assessment and preservation plans are completed, Restore Oregon will focus on next steps for protecting this wooden jewel box for future generations.

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