The Yeon Center is actively engaged in preservation and restoration of the Watzek House, Cottrell House, and The Shire.
The University of Oregon’s Historic Preservation program graduate students are active in work at the properties as well. In Summer 2018 incoming graduate students engaged with professional tradespeople on work at the Cottrell House, including refinishing railing, cleaning and repairing louvers and plywood panels, and repointing masonry during the 2018 Pacific Northwest Preservation Field School. The Cottrell House also received a complete condition assessment as part of a Fall 2019 course taught by architect Peter Meijer. In Winter 2019 students worked with visiting faculty from Hennebery Eddy Architects to develop a complete building preservation plan for the Watzek House. Each year, a graduate student employee also works with the Center.
Other recent projects include: a case study of the Watzek House roof to develop a system that will preserve the design intentions for the next 75 years, restoring key features of the Cottrell House exterior, and removing invasive ivy from The Shire.
Public Lectures and Discussions
The Yeon Center has presented public lectures by major leaders in the fields of architecture, landscape, and conservation. Past Yeon lectures featured Michael Graves speaking on the future of his postmodernist landmark, the Portland Building, and Barry Bergdoll, former curator of architecture for the Museum of Modern Art, landscape architects David Rubin and Bas Smets, bridge designer Donald McDonald, and artist Michael Singer.
Drawing at the Watzek House
The Watzek house is rich with unique architecture, furniture, and art that is best understood through close visual study. Click here to view drawings from past events.
Conversations at the Watzek House
Some of region’s and the world’s most influential designers, conservationists, creatives, intellectuals, and policymakers, as well as the University of Oregon’s most visionary researchers and designers have gathered for conversations in the inspiring setting of the Watzek House. Past conversations have featured architects Michael Graves, Robert Frasca, Thomas Hacker, and others; policy makers like Shelley Poticha of Environmental Defense Fund and David Bragdon of Transit Inc.; and writers such as landscape theorist Anne Whiston Spirn and art critic Michael Ned Nolte.
Portland Art Museum Exhibition (2017)
In the summer of 2017 the John Yeon Center partnered with the Portland Art Museum to produce ‘A Quest for Beauty: The Architecture, Landscapes, and Collections of John Yeon’. The retrospective looked at Yeon’s life and passions, surveyed two dozen projects designed between 1927 and the mid-1950s, and led to two books on Yeon published that same year: John Yeon: Architecture and John Yeon: Landscape.
The Yeon Center has sponsored design studios in the Architecture Program of the College of Design in Portland. The inaugural Yeon Studio (2015) collaborated with Metro and Oregon City to investigate future uses of the now-defunct Blue Heron Mill site adjacent to Willamette Falls.
Below is a slideshow version of the John Yeon Center’s studio book, Willamette Falls Legacy: Building a Post-Industrial Landscape.