Yoko Minoura / The Bulletin

With city approval, the arched roof and buttressed red walls of the crane shed may again grace Bend’s Old Mill District.

The Bend City Council is expected to approve a design tonight for six new bus shelters on Bond Street commemorating the historic building.

The crane shed was used to store lumber during Bend’s mill days and was one of the last vestiges of the community’s timber-fueled past. It was torn down illegally, under the cover of darkness, in 2004. The Oregon Court of Appeals upheld in 2006 a Deschutes County judge’s order for the property’s owner to pay the city a $100,000 fine and $17,000 in interest for tearing it down without proper approval.

The judge ordered that the money — to be paid by Crown Investment LLC, the property owner at the time — be used to commemorate the crane shed.

The city has since decided to build bus shelters to preserve the memory of the crane shed.

The chosen design is the “most literal interpretation” of seven proposals for bus stops reminiscent of the historic building, according to city documents.

The design was submitted by Yankee Design & Building, a Bend-based construction company. It was chosen from a pool of seven proposals.

“Yankee’s design, to me, really embodies the structural elements of the old crane shed, yet they’ve done it in such a way that it’s going to be a wonderful shelter from the elements for our riders,” Bend Area Transit Manager Heather Ornelas said.

Ornelas was part of a committee including city staff, advocates for the disabled and others who scored the proposals.

Brad Emerson, assistant director of special projects for Bend Public Works and manager of the bus shelter project, could not be reached for comment Friday.

Ornelas said the chosen design scored particularly well on safety.

The bus shelters will include benches, solar-powered lighting and transparent wall panels to provide protection from the elements, according to the design proposal.

They will be accessible to individuals with disabilities, Ornelas said.

The proposal also calls for materials salvaged from the crane shed, including bolts and a ladder, to be incorporated into the new shelters, in a mainly decorative capacity.

“It really goes that extra step, to be able to touch and feel actual artifacts that were taken from the crane shed after its demolition,” Ornelas said. “Especially for younger folks, I think it really brings that history home.”

A commemorative plaque with information about the crane shed will be mounted inside each shelter along with a map of bus routes, according to design documents.

The new bus shelters could be completed by this summer, according to city documents.

The city will pay for the new bus shelters with the court-ordered fine levied against Crown Investment Group for demolishing the crane shed without a permit.

In 1937, Brooks-Scanlon Mill built the crane shed for storing logs. It was named for a 70-foot-tall traveling crane used to stack 30 million board feet of lumber inside.

On Aug. 19, 2004, Crown, which had purchased the crane shed site the year before, outraged many in the community when it tore the building down to make way for housing, retail, office space, condos and underground parking.

In March 2005, Bend-based Trono Group LLC bought the property for $5.1 million from Crown. That’s $2.35 million more than Crown paid for the property less than two years earlier.

Trono Group plans to build The Mercato, a complex including offices, condominiums and retail space.

The city plans to build four shelters, and the owners of The Old Mill District have volunteered to pay for the other two.

Each shelter would cost roughly $26,000 with a steel base, or $20,000 with a wooden base, according to city documents. Steel is easier to maintain, but a wooden base would appear more authentic.

City staff are recommending a steel base to the City Council, which will make the final determination on the material used.

The city will also pay for site work at all six locations and for the commemorative plaques, estimated to cost a total of $10,000, according to city documents.

The shelters will be built in pairs, on both sides of Bond Street, between Industrial Way and Reed Market Road.

The shelters would serve riders on bus Route 2, which connects The Old Mill District to neighborhoods on the south side of Bend along Brooks-wood Boulevard.

Ornelas said the six new, unique bus shelters will allow the transit system to serve riders better.

“For an opportunity like this to come along, to get some first-class passenger amenities when you’re still a fledgling system, is a great (thing),” she said.

If you go

•The City Council will consider the crane shed bus shelters proposal in a work session at 5 p.m. today at the Bend Fire Department’s North Station, 63377 Jamison Road.

•For more information, visit www.ci.bend.or.us.

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