The Springfield Gateway Arch Project has come a long way in 5 years. We are getting closer to the goal of building a revised, deluxe version of the original Springield Gateway Arch, which was built in 1920 but destroyed by the flooding Willamette River just seven years later in the flood of 1927.
It may not seem like a long way, but consider that such an ambitious enterprise first begins with a mere inkling, an idea that resides in the mind's eye. Following that came visualiations, revisions of various kinds, creation of Friends of The Springfield Arch, a nonprofit commuity group, creating a board, re-shuffling the members of the board as some founding members withdrew to focus on their own big dreams.
One of them, my friend since the eighth grade, Carl Mosen, made significant contributions, both material and conceptual. He was the first among us to realize and point out that the new Arch we were proposing would function as a double-sided Arch with one side welcoming travelers to Springfield and the other welcoming travelers to the McKenzie River corridor and the Cascades.
Once we had full color comprehensive renderings of both sides of the new Arch, the next step was to build a scale model so that viewers could more closely relate to what it would feel like to be standing next to such an imposing structure. At full scale, the Arch will be 50 feet across, 24 feet high with a live water function at the top which stages the famed McKenzie River Drift Boat, developed and built on the McKenzie and also in Springfield. Today the McKenzie River Drift Boat is the official symbol of the City of Springfield, Oregon.
The dimensional display required the purchase of a large, acrylic case to protect the model while on display. Funds raised through board members' own cash contributions as well as a Kickstarter crowd funding campaign covered the cost of completing the scale model and the display box as well.
The model has subsequently been on display at Springfield City Hall, Center Court of The Springfield Mall, Willamalane Park & Recreation District's 32nd Street facility, ( now known as the Bob Keefer Center), The Umpqua Bank lobby, The Thurston High School Library, The Springfield High School Library, and at Les Schwab, a local automotive dealer.
Early supporters in the form of letters of endorsement by organizations, included: The Springfield Chamber of Commerce, The McKenzie River Chamber of Commerce The McKenzie Guides Association, The McKenzie Trust, The McKenzie Watershed Council and The McKenzie Flyfishers. Recently we received perhaps the most important endorsement of all from Kari Westlund, CEO of Travel Lane County, who communicated to members of City Hall that she considers the Arch an appropriate landmark to help anchor the east end of Springfield.
There are other new efforts unfolding and we will keep you posted as new developments arise.
Tom Lincoln, President
Friends of The Springfield Arch
A nonprofit community group.
|Above: The original Springfield Gateway Arch, built in 1920|
|Above: In 1927 the Arch was destroyed by the flood waters of the Willamette River.|
|West view of new Arch. This acts as a gateway to Springfield and points west.|
East view of new Arch. This acts as a gateway to the McKenzie and the Cascades.
Shown below, board members Tom Lincoln and Ken Engelman with the scale model.
- The McKenzie River Gift Shop
- 616 South 71st Street
- Springfield, Or 97478
- (541) 726-1817