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Cottage Grove secures millions to revitalize historic downtown district

Cottage Grove's downtown has been a location for some famous films, including Buster Keaton's The General. A mural on the side of the historic Cottage Grove Hotel depicts Keaton's silent film billing for The General, filmed nearly one hundred years ago.

The U.S. Department of Commerce announced Tuesday the city of Cottage Grove will receive a $5 million federal grant to revitalize its historic commercial district. The award is through a project of the Economic Development Administration (EDA) and funded by the American Rescue Plan.

Five blocks of Cottage Grove's historic commercial district will be upgraded with new landscaping, improving utilities and updating accessibility features.

The grant funds will be used to upgrade five blocks of Main Street- Cottage Grove, by installing new landscaping, improving utilities and updating accessibility features. The historic downtown is well known. It’s been the location for scenes in movies including Buster Keaton’s silent film, “The General,” and the iconic comedy, Animal House.

main street PARADE.jpg
Charlie Nye
The Register-Guard
A floats moves down East Main St. in Cottage Grove during filming of the movie Animal House in 1977.

The grant received key support from Oregon’s U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley. The $5 million investment will be matched with $1.3 million in local funds and expected to create or retain 60 jobs, according to the city’s estimates.

Tiffany joined the KLCC News team in 2007. She studied journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and has worked in a variety of media including television and daily print news. For KLCC, Tiffany reports on health care, social justice and local/regional news. She has won awards from Oregon Associated Press, PRNDI, and Education Writers Association.