Our Commitment to Rural Oregon

While the field of historic preservation has evolved in recent years to recognize many forms of heritage — built, natural, cultural, tangible, and intangible — such advances have been insufficient.

As Oregon’s only statewide nonprofit historic preservation organization, we are committed to preserving the urban, suburban, and rural cultural resources that embody Oregon’s history in all its complexity from multiple time periods and perspectives.


When we focus efforts on rural historic preservation, we protect reminders of our shared past in direct and impactful ways. As a result, we can connect Oregonians of all ages, economic levels, cultural backgrounds, and gender identities with the places that tell the multifaceted story of our state.

About 65% of our incoming inquiries are for support and assistance from rural communities. To better address these specific questions, concerns, and needs, we’ve created a place for rural communities to learn about and gain support for historic preservation needs.

Below, you will find information and tools to address the most frequently asked questions about how to plan for, preserve, protect, and reuse rural historic resources in Oregon. 

Resources to Address Rural Needs

Rural FAQs

Have a preservation question but are not sure where to begin? Start with our most frequently asked questions for rural resources.

Preservation Toolkit

A helpful guide for preserving, adapting, and reusing a historic building.

Planning for Historic Resources

Has your community planned for its historic places? Download our helpful Historic Resources Inventory Planning Guide to get started.

Heritage Barns

Learn about past workshops, technical preservation, and adaptive reuse for barns.

Legacy Businesses

Every community has beloved small businesses on their main streets and beyond. Learn more about preserving and supporting them.

Climate Resilience and Mitigation

Plan for climate resilience and disaster recovery in your area.

Technical Guides

Not sure where to begin with restoring or rehabilitating a historic place? Learn best practices from the National Park Service’s series of bulletins.

Other Rural Services

We acknowledge that rural communities have crucial life safety, health, and resource-access priorities that must come before historic preservation projects. Use this section to explore programs, grants, and initiatives that support rural housing, utilities, businesses, and more.

Our Work At a Glance
Technical Assistance

Restore Oregon responds to over 300 requests for technical assistance annually–approximately ⅔ of that work is dedicated to rural communities. All technical assistance is free of charge.

Saving Endangered Places

To date, we have listed and worked to save 59 Most Endangered Places (MEPs)–43 are located in rural communities. Nearly $200,000 in Restore Oregon seed grants have leveraged hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of preservation and rehabilitation work for MEPs statewide.

Heritage Barn Workshops

Our barns committee first convened in 2012 and paused during the pandemic. Workshops served hundreds of Oregonians on site in Corvallis, Jacksonville, Lake Oswego, Champoeg State Park, Union, and Bend.

Learn How Preservation & Reuse Helps Solve Problems
Historic Preservation and Reuse as Climate Action
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Statement