Gold Beach Main Street has been awarded a $166,695 grant from Oregon Main Street and plans to launch its Historic Ellensburg Avenue Exterior Preservation Project.

With the grant, they will kick off their Historic Ellensburg Avenue Exterior Preservation Project with two of the town’s oldest buildings. The group hopes to start work in June.

“Gold Beach Main Street (GBMS) sees this as a catalyzing opportunity to work with property owners to preserve our oldest buildings,” said Ariel Kane, the community coordinator.

The two properties to be worked on are at 29733 and 29852 Ellensburg Ave.: Dan’s Ace Hardware’ and Sunset Station.

Dan’s Ace Hardware is in one of the town’s oldest significant buildings, the original Gold Beach Hospital.

“The owners, Dan and Tammy Delaney, relate their experience of patrons who stop in to share, “I was born right over there in that window,’” Kane said. “So while the modern use of the building has been entirely different since the 1960s, it is of obvious community significance.”

Sunset Station, built in the 1930s, originally serviced vehicular traffic next to the long-gone Sunset Inn. It will once again be a service station, but for a different kind of traveler.

Current owner, Susan Golay, has plans to work with the building’s limitations and once the exterior and interior are preserved, plans to open a cyclist service station and hostel that will cater to the increasing cycling tourists on the Southern Oregon Coast.

Both property owners are eligible to pursue a National Historic Registry designation and the preservation of the exterior will make this a more viable option, Kane said. The largest portion of the project will be building a roof to preserve the building.

“The exterior preservation of these buildings will keep a strong viable business undisturbed in an important historic building and renovate a historic building to allow for another viable business,” Kane said. “Not only can GBMS start to address the goals of the organization, but the goals of the Gold Beach Strategic Plan and Urban Renewal Agency as they build their incentive programs and work to increase development and property values.”

Oregon Heritage

Oregon Heritage, a division of Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, awarded 30 matching grants worth $5,244,261 to Oregon Main Street Network organizations across the state for building projects that encourage economic revitalization.

Projects ranged from façade improvement to housing and seismic upgrades with awards ranging from $56,731 to $200,000.

The grant program was created during the 2015 legislative session and created a permanent fund for the Oregon Main Street Revitalization Grant with an initial infusion of money from the sale of lottery bonds.

The legislature included the Oregon Main Street Revitalization Grant in the lottery bond package approved in 2017. The funds must be used to award grants to participating Oregon Main Street Network organizations to acquire, rehabilitate or construct buildings.

The program also requires that at least 50 percent of the funds go to rural communities.