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Foster-Simmons House listed in the National Register of Historic Places

Nov. 16, 2017

The Foster-Simmons House in Eugene, Lane County is among Oregon's latest entries in the National Register of Historic Places.

The Foster-Simmons House, located at 417 E 13th Avenue, in the West University neighborhood of Eugene, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places as an excellent, nearly intact example of the Craftsman style of residential architecture. It was built for $3000 in 1913 by attorney Orla H. Foster and his wife, Maidee, who lived in the house until 1921, when it was sold to Earl C. Simmons, owner of the E.C. Simmons Ford Dealership. After passing through a series of short-term owners, the house was offered for rent to University students beginning during the 1930s. From the 1940s until 1975, the home was owned and occupied by Mabel and Elroy Reagan. Since 1975, the house has been the home of the Eugene chapter of Young Life, a Christian youth support and development organization. The three-bedroom house displays many characteristic features of the Craftsman style, including varied exterior siding and window types, open eaves, a projecting front porch with heavy concrete piers and exposed structural elements, and a modest porte cochere. Interior elements include an open floor plan, built-in features, and an abundance of simple but elegant woodwork. The house retains a high degree of interior and exterior integrity, and clearly conveys its style and period of construction through its original form, features, and materials. As one of only six single-family Craftsman dwellings in the fragile West University area that have been evaluated as being National Register-eligible, the Foster-Simmons House is a stand-out example of its type in the neighborhood and in Eugene.

Oregon's State Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation recommended the Foster-Simmons House for nomination during their June 2017 meeting and on October 30, 2017, the house was formally listed by the Keeper of the National Register in Washington DC. The Foster-Simmons House is now one of 61 buildings in Eugene that are individually honored by listing in the National Register. The National Register is maintained by the National Park Service under the authority of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966.

More information about the National Register and recent Oregon lists is online at www.oregonheritage.org (click on "National Register" at left of page).