VISTA HOUSE is a National Landmark and Oregon State Park and Oregon's premier historic icon built along the Historic Columbia River Highway in 1918 as a rest stop, observation point and tribute to Oregon's pioneers. Magestically located on Crown Point in the Columbia River Gorge, 733 feet above the River, it is one of the most visited sites in Oregon and the Northwest, hosting over 1 million visitors from around the world each year.
Completed after the construction of the Historic Columbia River Highway, it has been billed as the "most expensive outhouse" ever constructed. This statement alludes to the 16 beautifully appointed marble restrooms located in the lower level of the building. The Alaskan Tokeen marble is beautifully laid in the rotunda (upper level) and in the public areas of the lower level.
After years of sustaining years of natural and manmade destructive conditions due to its location and neglect, a major historic restoration took place beginning in 2000 and was finally completed this past May. The rededication took place May 5, 2006 on the 88th anniversary of the original dedication.
The restoration also added a new dimension - the building is now fully accessible for the first time in its history with an exterior ramp and an interior, "one-of-a-kind" lift which takes people from the upper level to the lower.
Friends of Vista House (FOVH) was established 23 years ago by a group of dedicated community volunteers to steward and protect Vista House for future generations. FOVH is a "Friends" organization partnering with the Oregon State Parks Department (OPRD) to provide visitor services and amenities.
To sustain the organization, FOVH operates a unique interpretive gift store which features local artisans and handcrafted wares that promote the area's history, pioneers, flora and fauna. FOVH also operates an espresso cafe. Both these operations are in the lower level of the building.