Historic Grants Pass
Downtown Historic District
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.
View a map with information about some of the most significant buildings in and around the Downtown Historic District. This map covers mostly commercial buildings. This map is available on the Historic District page of the Visit Grants Pass website, where you can also find information about things to do in the historic district. Copies of the map are also available at the visitor centers and many downtown businesses.
A city’s heart and soul is its downtown and in Grants Pass, there is no exception. In fact, with its Historic District, outdoor Southern Oregon Growers Market, plenty of free off-street parking, and Downtown Welcome Center, 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.
Historic Walking Tours
If you would like to learn more about our historic buildings, we have maps and walking tours of the Downtown Historic District and historic buildings in our historic neighborhoods. View online maps with photos and descriptions of significant historic buildings in Grants Pass. These interactive maps are mobile-friendly and include addresses, so you can take them with you on a walking tour.
Historic Northwest Grants Pass Walking Tour Map
This map and walking tour covers mostly historic homes in Northwest Grants Pass which are on the National Register of Historic Places, and two of the oldest historic churches in Grants Pass. Go to an interactive map of the Historic Northwest Grants Pass Walking Tour.
Historic District Buildings of Grants Pass Walking Tour Map
This map and walking tour match the Downtown Historic District map. It includes mostly commercial buildings in the Historic District. Go to an interactive map of the Historic District Buildings of Grants Pass.
All Historic Landmarks
In 2021 Grants Pass was admitted to the National Park Service’s Certified Local Government (CLG) program in recognition of the City’s dedication to historic preservation. If you want to pursue more history after your walking tour, check out the complete list of Local, State, and Federally recognized Historic Landmarks.
"It’s the Climate" Sign
First hung on July 20, 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 is celebrated its 100th birthday on July 20, 2020.
The 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.
Historic Resource Planning in Grants Pass
Historical Buildings and Sites Commission
The Historical Buildings and Sites Commission (HBSC) meets each month when there is business to attend to or a decision to make. A list of the members, their purpose, agendas, minutes, and upcoming meetings are available on this site.