Oregon Heritage Commission Honors Liberty Theatre, April 4

City of North Bend release – The Oregon Heritage Commission is proud to announce that The Liberty Theatre has been selected as a recipient of a prestigious 2024 Oregon Heritage Excellence Award. This award recognizes the Liberty’s remarkable multi-year renovation project, which has significantly contributed to the preservation and revitalization of Oregon’s heritage. The Liberty Theatre – Home of the Little Theatre on the Bay – was nominated for the award by the North Bend Main Street Program. Since 2015, the Liberty Theatre has undergone an extensive restoration and rehabilitation effort, culminating in its designation to the National Register of Historic Places in 2023. This monumental project has not only preserved the architectural integrity of the historic 1924 building but has also transformed it into a modern performing arts center, enhancing accessibility, infrastructure, and overall patron experience. The award highlights the exceptional dedication and collaborative spirit of the Little Theatre on the Bay and its community. Through innovative fundraising, strategic planning, and the engagement of local artisans, contractors, volunteers, and donors, the project has leveraged resources and skills to achieve a high degree of authenticity and conservation. The restoration effort honors the theatre’s original design and materials, ensuring its continued significance and utility for future generations. “The Liberty Theatre’s restoration project embodies the spirit of the Oregon Heritage Excellence Awards by demonstrating outstanding efforts to preserve and enrich Oregon’s heritage,” said Katie Henry, Oregon Heritage Commission Coordinator. “Their work serves as an inspiring model for heritage preservation that combines respect for historical authenticity with the needs of contemporary community use.” The project has also contributed to the economic revitalization and cultural vibrancy of downtown North Bend, offering a wide range of performances, events, and educational opportunities. It stands as a testament to the power of community collaboration in preserving and celebrating our shared heritage. “The North Bend City Council and Urban Renewal Agency are steadfast supporters of The Liberty Theatre’s restoration and its significant impact on the community’s cultural and economic landscape,” Mayor Jessica Engelke said. “Community theatres like The Liberty are much more than entertainment venues; they are vibrant hubs of activity that invigorate our central downtown business district, draw visitors to our city, and enhance our community’s quality of life. This project exemplifies how preserving our cultural heritage can lead to dynamic economic development and a stronger, more connected community. The Liberty Theatre’s successful revitalization is a testament to the power of collaboration and vision in transforming not just a historic building but the heart of North Bend itself.” The Liberty Theatre is proud to announce its collaboration with Scott Partney Construction on the development of a new youth theatre and program center. Work is underway, featuring the erection of scaffolding and the application of stucco to the exterior, meticulously designed to complement the historical facade of the original structure. This significant project has been made possible in part through the generous support of an Oregon Heritage Revitalization Grant, secured by the North Bend Main Street Program, and a façade improvement grant provided by the North Bend Urban Renewal Agency. In celebration of its centennial milestone, the Theatre invites the community to its 100th Birthday Celebration, set to take place from 5 to 7 pm on April 19th. This event offers an exclusive opportunity to explore the Theatre’s historic restorations and enhancements, efforts that have saved the building from the brink of demolition. The festivities will continue with a complimentary concert featuring The Throttles, which will run from 7 to 9 pm. Join us in commemorating this landmark occasion and the enduring legacy of the Liberty Theatre. The Oregon Heritage Excellence Awards ceremony will take place on April 18, during the 2024 Oregon Heritage Conference in Hillsboro. The event will honor the Liberty Theatre among other distinguished awardees who have made significant contributions to preserving Oregon’s rich and diverse heritage. Other 2024 Oregon Heritage Excellence Award recipients are: Maxville Heritage Interpretive Center for exceptional work in preserving the Maxville townsite, a multi-racial logging community established in Wallowa County in the 1920s.The multi-phased approach included the acquisition of the land, the project of the last remaining building, archaeological research, and listing the site on the National Register of Historic Places. Oscar Hult for his service and dedication to preserving and promoting Albany’s heritage. Talent Historical Society’s Documenting the Almeda Fire project, for a comprehensive documentation project following the 2020 Almeda Fire that had a devastating impact on communities in Southern Oregon. US Army Corps of Engineers for the Willamette Valley Project Section 106 Programmatic Agreement resulting in a groundbreaking approach to consultation and setting a new standard for collaborative decision-making in historic preservation efforts. Peggy Sigler for over three decades of impact in preserving Oregon’s heritage, promoting its value, and heritage advocacy efforts. Salem’s Historic Landmarks Commission and its innovative approach in protecting cultural and archaeological resources that serve as a model locally and nationally. Kelly Cannon-Miller for her dedication, strategic vision, and collaborative spirit in Deschutes County heritage preservation efforts and beyond. Kimberly Moreland for her dedication to and service in documenting, preserving, and championing Oregon’s heritage with a focus on Oregon’s African American history. Mark Beach for his 30 years of service in researching and sharing Oregon’s North Coast history. Mary Jo Morelli for her dedicated advocacy for historical preservation and education in Forest Grove for over five decades. The 2024 Sally Donovan Award for Historic Cemetery Preservation goes to Cricket Soules for nearly two decades of work transforming the Marshfield Pioneer Cemetery in Coos Bay from a neglected site into a vibrant community space and educational resource. In addition to the 12 recipients of a 2024 Oregon Heritage Excellence Award, the Oregon Heritage Commission will also be recognizing 18 standout heritage volunteers from heritage organizations across the state and their critical contributions to heritage preservation efforts in Oregon. For further information about the awards ceremony and to purchase tickets, please visit

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