Superior Portland Cement Company

Client: North Cascades National Park, City of Concrete
Concrete, Washington

Background

Once a thriving Portland cement company, the Superior Portland Cement Company was largely demolished, with four structures remaining: the office and lab building, the power house, the storage silos and a monument to worker safety. It has been vacant since 1967. It is now owned by the City of Concrete. Because the City of Concrete is a gateway community to the North Cascades National Park, the National Park Service wanted to assist the City in preserving this historic industrial site.

Condition Assessment

Issue

Although it looked very rough, the city did not know what condition the structures were in and what it would take to stabilize them.

Solution

A complete condition assessment was conducted of the office building. Key issues included a collapsed wooden roof, water infiltration at windows and through walls, and extensive debris in the building. The report included descriptions of the conditions found, suggestions for repair and prioritization of repairs.

National Register Nomination

Issue

Although generally considered historic, the City was not sure if the structures where eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. Listing on the register could help with funding of the stabilization and restoration efforts.

Solution

Historical research and evaluation revealed that the Superior Portland Cement company was regionally significant for its contribution to the development of the Pacific Northwest. Cement from this plant was used in the Hoover Dam, numerous projects in Seattle, almost all of the buildings in the City of Concrete, and other major infrastructure projects throughout the region.

Work completed while at University of Oregon. Condition Assessment report was co-authored by Jennifer Flathman.