Looking West (toward Portland)
Samuel Lancaster, Assistant Highway Engineer for Multnomah County in 1913, supervised the Columbia River Highway project. Lancaster proposed construction of a building on the summit of Crown Point, another reflection of his desire to inspire the traveller along the highway and to make the wonders of the gorge accessible. He believed the Crown Point promontory was the ideal site for "an observatory from which the view both up and down the Columbia could be viewed in silent communion with the infinite". Such an observatory would also be a fitting memorial to "the trials and hardships of those who had come into the Oregon country." And it could "serve as a comfort station for the tourist and the travellers of America's greatest highway." He suggested it be known as the Vista House.The official opening of the Columbia River Highway from Portland to Hood River marked the completion of a tremendous feat in highway construction. On May 5, 1918, dedication of the highway took place at Crown Point. On that rocky promontory, 733 feet above the Columbia River, construction of Vista House began that same year.
Beautiful stained glass windows
Incredible architechtural detail
Marble staircases and brass handrails
(The restroom walls, including the stall walls, are all made of marble and the stall doors are solid mahogany. The lady at the information desk said they are the most beautiful restrooms you will ever see. I told her I was tempted to take pictures but I didn't think it would be appropriate -- she said, "Oh, go ahead - do it! I didn't.)
This was the first stop on our daylong journey through some of the scenic areas near my home. If you are ever in our part of Oregon try to schedule time to see these sites for yourself. Pictures don't them justice and there is so much more to see. This is just the beginning!