PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, (D) Oregon, has called on federal officials to honor the nomination of three Black historic landmarks in Portland to be added to the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP).

In a letter to Secretary of Interior Deb Haaland Friday, the congressman shared his support for the NRHP nominations of Mt. Olivet Baptist Church, Dean’s Beauty Salon and Barber Shop, and the Golden West Hotel in Portland, submitted by the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office on Jan. 14, 2022. 

“The Mt. Olivet Baptist Church in Northeast Portland was the home of one of Oregon’s oldest Black congregations; Dean’s Beauty Salon and Barber Shop in Northeast Portland is the city’s oldest, continuously operating Black-owned business; and the Golden West Hotel in Northwest Portland was the first hotel in the city to accommodate Black patrons,” Blumenauer wrote.

Ad for the Golden West Hotel Barber Shop. Undated. (Courtesy Oregon Historical Society)

Blumenauer’s full letter can be read here

Nominations for the three sites were officially submitted to the National Park Service Friday, after a series of public sessions and a formal recommendation by the State Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation last year.

In his letter, Blumenauer wrote: “These landmarks are all important to understanding our history and demonstrate the resilience of Portland’s Black community despite systemic racism and government-sponsored clearance, redevelopment, disinvestment, and gentrification.”

If accepted, the NRHP registry would grant the sites unique protections against demolition and provide the owner and tenants with eligible grants and tax incentives.

An undated photo of the Golden West Hotel. (Courtesy Oregon Historical Society)

When city officials announced nominations in August 2021, Zachary Stocks, executive director of the nonprofit Oregon Black Pioneers stated, “Far too often, spaces representing African American experiences are trivialized or overlooked entirely in efforts to preserve America’s historical landscape.”

Now that the nominations have been formally submitted, Blumenauer’s office told KOIN 6 News the National Park Service has up to 45 days to make a decision. 

“Recently, it has taken the full 45 day period for them to make determinations, so we expect to hear back about the nominations in mid-March,” said Congressman Blumenauer’s communications director, Janine Kritschgau. 

Details on the historic locations and the full nomination applications, authored by historians Kimberly Moreland, Caitlyn Ewers and Matt Davis can be viewed here.