As Rick Grimshaw, Vice-President of the Board of Trustees of the Diocese of Oregon, shared at last year’s diocesan Convention, diocesan leadership has for several years been contemplating the best stewardship plan for Elk Rock Gardens. This historic property was generously gifted to the diocese by Peter and Laurie Kerr more than 60 years ago and houses the diocesan office (The Bishop’s Close) and a privately-managed public garden.
Today the Diocese of Oregon is very pleased to announce that it has signed a Letter of Intent to sell the Bishop’s Close and Elk Rock Gardens to Mr. Jordan Schnitzer. Mr. Schnitzer is a lifelong Portland resident with significant experience in civic, religious, non-profit, and community-based organizations and causes, including sixteen years on the Board of Trustees for the Portland Japanese Garden.
Mr. Schnitzer intends to develop a long-term master plan to restore and revitalize Elk Rock Gardens in a way that honors the history and tradition of the garden as well as the legacy of the Kerr family’s intention in donating it to the diocese, maintaining it as a private/public green space with a deed restriction that prevents any subdivision of the property for redevelopment.
In addition to the important preservation of this beautiful and beloved garden, Mr. Schnitzer agreed to a favorable lease-back option for the diocese for up to five years, which allows us time to enter into a diocesan-wide conversation planning for the future location of the diocesan office.
We give thanks for Mr. Schnitzer’s generous commitment to the future of Elk Rock Gardens and invite your prayers for the diocesan leadership and staff as we journey together into the next location from which we can best serve the Episcopal churches of western Oregon.