Downtown Albany Encompasses Three National Historic Districts
From Albany’s first frame house and general store to the vibrant commercial district it is today, Downtown Albany is a destination to discover the past in the City’s civic, commercial and social center. Albany prides itself on historic preservation and a commitment to responsible development in Downtown.
Downtown Albany encompasses three National Historic Districts: Downtown, Monteith and Hackleman. During the Interior Historic Home Tour (held the last Saturday in July) and the Christmas Parlour Tour (held the second Saturday in December), visitors are given a chance to tour homes and buildings in the Monteith Historic District, or stroll through history on a self-guided walking tour any time.
Buildings in the Downtown Historic District date from the 1850s through the 1900s and showcase a variety of architectural styles – Italianate, Queen Anne, American Renaissance, Commercial Brick, Art Moderne, 20th Century Period Revivals and modified French Second Empire.
As the City of Albany developed along the Willamette River and the manufacturing and farming industries grew, other businesses followed. As evidence of Downtown Albany’s continuing vitality and charm, many of these buildings remain in use as restaurants, shops and offices.
Albanys Historic Carousel and Museum
Albany’s Historic Carousel and Museum offers visitors a chance to see history in the making. Watch as volunteers hand-carve carousel animals that will one day be placed on the restored 1909 carousel mechanism. Also, see completed animals on display at the museum and historic carousel animals and memorabilia dating back to 1885. The carving studio and museum is free to visit, and is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., (open until 9 p.m. Wednesday; closed Christmas and Thanksgiving) at 503 First Avenue SW in Downtown Albany. For information, call 541-791-3340 or online at albanycarousel.com.
The Albany Regional Museum
The Albany Regional Museum welcomes local visitors as well as out-of-town guests. With monthly events and changing exhibits, there is always something new to see and do. Free tours are available daily for individuals or groups. Albany Regional Museum is located at 136 Lyon Street SW, and is open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., For more information, call 541-967-7122 or online at armuseum.com.
The Historic Monteith House
Built in 1849, the Monteith House is Albany’s first framed structure and one of the most authentically restored homes in Oregon. The house is now a museum, where visitors can see the pioneer kitchen and the original piano brought by covered wagon. The house at 518 Second Avenue SW is open for touring Wednesday through Saturday from noon to 4 p.m., and other times by appointment. For more information, visit monteithhouse.org.
Albany’s Great Architect of the Early 1900's
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Charles H. Burggraf practiced architecture in Salem in the 1890s, and moved his practice to Albany around the turn of the century. Burggraf was born in 1866 at Centrailia, Illinois. His father J.G. Burggraf, a native of Germany who pioneered in Illinois, was an architect and builder. Charles Burggraf was educated in public schools in Illinois, and attended Hastings College in Nebraska where he studied surveying, engineering, drawing and architecture. He opened his first architectural office in Hastings, making a specialty of public buildings. In 1890 he moved to Grand Junction, Colorado, where he constructed schools, banks and churches.
In 1891 he moved to Salem, Oregon, designing the Catholic Convent at St. Paul, and the secret society hall of the A.F. & A.M. and the Knights of Pithious Hall in Woodburn, Oregon. In 1896 he won a blue ribbon at the Oregon State Fair for his drawing of a Salem, Oregon building. By the time he designed the first brick building in Brownsville, Oregon, in 1903 Burggraf was practicing in Albany, Oregon.
OREGON- Albany, Ore. Charles H. Burggraf, Architect has completed plans for the new school building to be erected at Glenwood Wash. The board of directors are now receiving bids for its construction Preliminary sketches have been prepared for the new college building contemplated by Albany College.
American Architect and Architecture, Volume 111. June 1917.