Though the Portland Fire Bureau hopes to erect a new memorial near the Vera Katz Eastbank Esplanade to firefighters killed in action, the classical-style David Campbell Memorial at 1800 W. Burnside St. is not in jeopardy.
Preservationists scrambled to nominate the elegant 1927 memorial for the National Register of Historic Places only to learn that the Fire Bureau wanted to save it, too. The historical research "really gave us a (breath) of fresh air," said Portland Fire Chief John Klum, who wants to see the Campbell monument fully restored.
The 1927 Beaux Arts-style monument was designed by Paul Cret, who headed the University of Pennsylvania architecture school for more than 30 years. Cret apparently was recruited for the Portland project by the late Ernest Tucker, a Portlander who studied under Cret at Penn.
Tucker apparently supervised construction of the monument, but only Cret's name appears on the original drawings. William J. Hawkins III, a Portland architect and architectural historian, said Cret "was one of the most respected architects in the country" at the time. He designed major buildings and memorials in Washington, D.C., and Europe, as well as laying out and designing much of the campus of the University of Texas at Austin.
"It should have been noted as a landmark a long time ago," Hawkins said of the Campbell memorial.
--Fred Leeson, Special to The Oregonian