Former Astoria planner joins state heritage commission

Rosemary Johnson was appointed to the Oregon Heritage Commission.

Gov. Kate Brown appointed Rosemary Johnson, Astoria’s former planner and historic preservation officer, to a four-year term on the commission, which is tasked with securing, sustaining and enhancing Oregon’s heritage. The commission includes nine people, representing Oregon’s heritage and geographical diversity. There are also nine advisory representatives from state agencies and statewide organizations.

Johnson retired in 2014 after 35 years with the city but remains involved with a number of city planning projects, including overseeing the restoration of the Doughboy Monument as well as the design and construction of the Scandinavian Heritage Park.

“I am excited to be part of the Oregon Heritage Commission,” Johnson said about her appointment. “I have been passionate about history for as long as I can remember. I believe we are a product of our past and we need to preserve the history of our state and nation to help form our future.

“Preservation is not just preserving structures. It is about people, our cultural history and the built environment.”

When she was with the city, Johnson helped complete the Astoria Riverfront Vision Plan, a document intended to guide development along the Columbia River, and implemented codes for three of the districts identified in that plan. She is working as a consultant now to wrap up work on the last district, the Urban Core.

Johnson also volunteers at the Flavel House Museum.

“Johnson has engaged with many of the commission’s programs through her work and brings a wealth of preservation experience to the group,” said Beth Dehn, the Oregon Heritage Commission coordinator. “We are pleased to have her on the Heritage Commission.”

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