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Press Release on Balconies Project


Friends of the Oregon Caves Chateau

Sue Densmore


[email protected]

For Immediate Release

Chateau Balconies Project at the Oregon Caves Selected for

Lottery Bond Funding

(July17,2017) OregonCavesNationalMonument.

$750,000 in lottery bond funding was approved by the 2017 Oregon Legislature to re-create the three balconies original to The Oregon Caves Chateau, a National Historic Landmark Lodge. The project recipient is The Friends of the Oregon Caves and Chateau, a non-profit organization cooperating with the National Park Service in the preservation, stewardship and improvement of the cultural and natural resources of the Oregon Caves National Monument and Preserve.

“We are thrilled that the Oregon Legislature has recognized the economic and historical value of the Oregon Caves and Chateau and the importance of restoring the Chateau and rebuilding the historic balconies. This funding shows significant support for the Oregon Caves National Monument and Preserve and its role in our state.” said Bernie Thurber, president of the Friends of the Oregon Caves and Chateau Board of Directors.

The restoration of the balconies was one of eight projects statewide for which the Cultural Advocacy Coalition lobbied legislators for funding this session. The Coalition-endorsed projects underwent multi-stage peer review based on criteria including quantifiable economic impact, community support, increased access to cultural resources and sustainability.

“The combination of the restored balconies along with the NPS life, health, safety and accessibility rehabilitation of the Chateau will grow jobs, draw visitors to Oregon and support the preservation of this regionally significant historic site,” said Christine Drazan, Executive Director of the Cultural Advocacy Coalition. “We were privileged to work alongside the Friends of the Oregon Caves and Chateau to help make the case for state investment in this worthwhile project.” For more

information on the Cultural Advocacy Coalition and how to support and protect Oregon’s cultural assets, please visit

The Oregon Caves Chateau, built in 1933, is widely recognized as one of the most architecturally exciting lodges in the entire NPS system, still in its original condition, and a valuable source of economic activity for Southwest Oregon. This Support from the Lottery Bond program will help the Friends prepare for the capital campaign for the full historic restoration of the Chateau,” said Sue Densmore, Executive Director of the Friends of the Oregon Caves and Chateau. To reserve a room for the current season, please visit

The Friends have completed historical and materials research projects including completing a model guest room to emulate the original rooms, lighting restoration, analysis of the Monterey Furniture collection original to the Chateau, improved dining services, and resolved the historic wall surface replacement. Additionally, they have located a source of Port Orford Cedar to help restore the exterior. Currently the Friends are restoring the former staff cafeteria to create a Community Room that will be available for new educational programming, retreats, reunions and meetings.

These projects have received support from individual donors and from Travel Oregon, the Ford Family Foundation, the Oregon Community Foundation, Meyer Memorial Trust, The Kinsman Foundation, The Four Way Foundation, The Carpenter Foundation, The Braemar Foundation, the Oregon Heritage Commission, Restore Oregon and The Trust for Historic Preservation.

The National Park Service (NPS) is planning to complete a Life, Safety and Accessibility project to address needed upgrades to the wiring, plumbing, deferred maintenance and to bring the Chateau up to accessibility standards. The Friends will be assisting with additional fundraising to address the Historic fabric of the lodge including the guest rooms, lobby and public areas and the restoration of the iconic Monterey Furniture Collection original to the Chateau. “ We are grateful to the Friends for securing this funding through the State of Oregon for this important restoration project.” said superintendent Vicki Snitzler.

Restoration of the balconies will be s significant step in returning the exterior of the Chateau to its original appearance. “

The Friends of the Oregon Caves and Chateau is a non-profit organization cooperating with the National Park Service in the preservation, stewardship and improvement of the cultural and natural resources of the Oregon Caves National Monument. The Friends will benefit the Monument and Preserve through the concern, care and philanthropy of dedicated individuals. They will help raise project donations and capital funds to restore and improve the facilities, and to involve the community and visitors in the future plans of the monument. Find out more and become a Friend at