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Central Oregon Coast's Ocean Terrace: Lincoln City Motel with History

Published 04/07/2018 at 2:45 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection Staff

Central Oregon Coast's Ocean Terrace: Lincoln City Motel with History

(Lincoln City, Oregon) - Not a bad view in the house, with a whole lot of central Oregon coast ocean or trees filling up your view. Then there’s that direct access to the beach below.

There’s a lot to love about the Ocean Terrace Condominiums in Lincoln City, and there’s a lot going on. That stretch of beach is prime for all kinds of regular fun like strolling, kites, and beach finds. But it’s also a good spot for agate hunting. If the weather doesn’t cooperate, stormwatching is awesome here and there’s a surprising amount of indoor fun to be had within the sprawling complex.

It’s also a place with an interesting history, one that goes back to the pre-war years and includes servicemen returning from Europe to grab a nice place to live.

Apparently, this grand motel started as a swanky apartment building.


Wes Ryan, a longtime manager of Ocean Terrace Condominiums, is familiar with most of the history of the place.

The original version of this place built somewhere in the late ‘30s or early ‘40s, he said. Back then it was just one building – the one now known as the courtyard view building, which is the initial construct you see upon entering and which faces the road.

“There are stories told of returning servicemen standing in the parking lot outbidding one another for one of the apartments,” Ryan said. “At that time it was called Hill’s Apartments. It also looked very different. It had a Cape Cod look, with garages where the lower units are now. It also had a second story. Each unit had a small private balcony. The whole building was heated by a central boiler providing steam heat through the registers.”

Ryan said around 1950 to ‘52 the building was sold and became the Ocean Terrace Motel. Later that decade, more units were constructed where the garages had been.

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“There was a later division of two of the original units by creating two units out of each one,” Ryan said. “In the early sixties they began selling the individual units, thereby creating the first condominiums.”

In 1964, Ryan said the top floor caught fire and the owners then decided not to rebuild, but instead put on a flat roof. In the late ‘60s, a new building was constructed on the bluff, which is now the oceanfront portion of this central Oregon coast stalwart.

“I don’t remember the name of the company that built those units,” Ryan said. “However I do know they also built the Sea Gypsy, D Sands and The Riverside in Bend. We surmise that construction began in late 1968 or 1969 with the northern part of the building being built first and then pre-selling the southern part of the building. I was told by a former owner that unit #9 was the last one sold in October of 1971. In early 1972, the by-laws were filed for the Ocean Terrace Condominium Motel. It was later shortened to Ocean Terrace Condominiums.”

These days, you’ll find a dreamy set of units big enough to feel like a vacation rental, all perched some 65 feet above the sands. Full kitchens accommodate longer stays, and larger suites can host rather large groups.

On days of chaotic weather, they have an indoor heated pool, ping pong and pool tables. Plenty of Lincoln City’s indoor attractions or restaurants are close by as well.

For those fairer weather days, most units have a patio or balcony with deck chairs. On top of it all, prices are startlingly inexpensive. 4229 SW Beach Avenue, Lincoln City, Oregon. (800) 648-2119. See website here.

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