Historic Downtown

The heart of downtown Grants Pass has been designated a National Historic District because of its historic buildings. In addition, Grants Pass has recently designated an expanded local Historic District which incorporates even more of the historic buildings downtown.

A city's heart and soul is its downtown and Grants Pass is no exception. In fact, with its Historic District, outdoor Southern Oregon Growers Market, plenty of free off-street parking, and a new public restroom and visitor information office, downtown Grants Pass is very special. Long accustomed to low vacancy rates, the core business district of Grants Pass is alive with activity and opportunities for small businesses. It is renowned for its numerous antique shops.

Check out the new map of the expanded Historic District and building information by clicking on the map to the right to go to the Travel Grants Pass Historic District Web Page.
6th Street Morning - Courtesy of Karen Fahey - Photo Call 2010
Its The Climate and Welcome Center - Courtesy of Karen Fahey Photo Call 2010

Historic District Map

Historic District Map


The entire downtown has received a major, multi-million dollar face-lift with new streets, sidewalks, and other amenities designed to create a more pedestrian-friendly and economically vibrant atmosphere.

It's the Climate!

First hung on July 20th, 1920, the "It's the Climate" sign is a tribute to a great place to live, work, play and that we have great weather!

The sign was an idea of local resident Mr. John Hampshire an engineer and road contractor.

Arriving in Grants Pass in 1917, Mr. Hampshire started promoting the slogan he created, "It's the Climate", to all the local businesses.

Mr. Hampshire received permission from the railroad (railroads owned most of the right of way in those early times), and he paid a sign company to create an "It's the Climate" sign. John Hampshire paid the entire cost of the sign, plus shipping, and donated it to Josephine County.

The "It's the Climate" sign just celebrated its 95th birthday in 2015.
Hienlen-Harbeck Building
Downtown Development
The city's Downtown Development Program also includes the Building Renovation Loan Fund. This program, a combination of grants and low-interest loans, assists downtown building and business owners in sprucing up interiors and exteriors of some of Grants Pass' greatest treasures, its historic structures.

Grants Pass' downtown is alive and thriving.  From antique shops to galleries to restaurants, and entertainment venues, there’s always something to do and see in downtown Grants Pass.

All of the city's major Downtown Development functions are carried out by contracts with private-sector companies and organizations. The city implements a National Main Street Program "Four-Point Approach" through a contract with the Grants Pass/Josephine County Chamber of Commerce.

The Downtown Development Program specifically administers:
  • Downtown amenities, such as benches, trees, pedestrian lighting and waste cans
  • Downtown building renovation programs
  • Downtown business development
  • Downtown infrastructure capital improvement projects
  • Downtown landscaping
  • Downtown litter control
  • Downtown parking programs and parking lot maintenance
  • Marketing the downtown to tourists