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Cedar Mill News
Volume 5, Issue 7


July 2007
The JQA Young House landscape plan includes a pioneer kitchen garden, picnic areas, and connection to the planned trail

Public input sought for historic house plans

Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District (THPRD) held the first Open House for the JQA Young House Restoration and Interpretive Master Plan on June 20. The second Open House is scheduled for July 25 from 6-8 pm at the Dryland Conference Room at the Terpenning Recreation Facility, 15707 SW Walker Rd. Anyone interested in the project is invited to attend and make comments. In addition, THPRD has posted the materials that were presented at the Open House on their website, with a comments form—

In May, the district awarded a $70,000 contract to MacKay & Sposito, Inc. to produce a comprehensive plan that will include a thorough analysis of the house and grounds,, recommendations for restoration of the house, a landscaping plan, cost estimates, and management of the public involvement component of the project. They have completed the site analysis and at the June meeting they presented their preliminary findings for public comment. After more refinement and public comment, the final report will be presented to the THPRD board in early October.

Jim Sandlin, Landscape Architect and Project Manager with MacKay & Sposito, explains the design process

Everyone expects that the house will eventually be submitted for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. Peter Meijer, AIA, an historical architect who is part of the consulting team, expressed his opinion that the house would most likely acquire a listing based on the people and events associated with it, rather than on the house itself because alterations have occurred since it was built and the design of the structure itself is not architecturally significant. The listing will, among other things, make it easier to raise money for restoration and program activities.

Also attending the meeting was David Ellis, Senior Archeologist with Archaeological Investigations Northwest, another member of the consulting team. He presented an assortment of contemporary drawings of 19th-century Willamette Valley architecture and landscaping that can help to inform the planning process.

The grounds around the house bear little resemblance to what existed when the house was built near the mill or used as the post office/general store. Years of fill-dirt dumping brought the ground level up as much as 25 feet above the “natural” grade on the east side. This has caused drainage problems for the house, and it is being recommended that the house be raised above its current level by about one foot. It isn’t considered practical to remove much of the fill, and it’s not clear that Clean Water Services would allow that anyway, since Cedar Mill Creek is so close.

The consultants are recommending that the park be developed first so that the community can begin to enjoy the grounds while fundraising and renovation proceeds. This was met with wide approval from those attending.

Several of the consultants’ conceptual alternatives recommended moving the house back on the lot to accommodate eventual widening of Cornell Road. (Washington County’s current right-of-way extends within 13 feet of the front door of the house.) This recommendation was rejected by the district for several reasons, including the importance of keeping the relationship of the house within the site for historic registration and the expense of the move. In addition, any eventual widening might be accomplished without building the road right next to the house. The road and sidewalk might have a more northerly alignment within the established right of way to avoid impinging on the park.

Funding for the project is expected to come largely from grants and donations. The THPRD board will likely be asked to approve additional funding for some of the work, but the final cost of renovating the house will be high. The Tualatin Hills Park Foundation set up an account for the JQAY project. A fundraising campaign will probably begin once a definite cost estimate is available. Judi Croft, great-great-granddaughter of JQA Young, attended the meeting and said that her far-flung family members are very interested in the project and will likely help with fundraising.



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Publisher/Editor:Virginia Bruce
12110 NW West Rd
Portland, OR 97229