Historic West Linn City Hall (West Linn City Hall) – West Linn OR

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Description

At a cost of approximately $28,000, the Historic West Linn City Hall was completed in July 1936 with funds provided by both a Public Works Administration (PWA) grant and loan. Local voters approved a bond measure to reimburse the loan in 1936. The structure served as city hall from 1936 to 1999 when civic offices moved to their current location.

Incorporated in 1913, West Linn waited thirteen years for construction of its first city hall. New Deal funding allowed the city to achieve its goal of a designated building for city business. Designed by the Portland architectural firm Claussen & Claussen and built by Portland contractor Harry S. Green, the simple two-story building incorporated Beaux Arts details. Notable design elements include a Flemish-bond brick veneer, belt course and cornice molding, a cast stone ornament above the central entryway, and casement windows with half-circle fanlights on the second floor.

As noted in documentation for the Oregon Inventory of Historic Properties, the city hall opened as a mixed use development with a grocery store and a local branch of the post office located on the first floor and the civic offices on the second. The original decision to open with commercial activities on the first floor is probably best indicated by looking at the building’s front elevation plan that shows its original windows in keeping with contemporary storefronts. Overtime, commercial activity left the building and the first floor was renovated for additional city offices.

City Hall became vacant in 2014 when its last civic use, the Police Department, relocated to its separate, new facility. Since that time, the Historic West Linn City Hall has been the focus of negotiations regarding its use as a cultural resource center.

 

Project Details

Federal Cost Local Cost Total Cost Project #'s
$27,850 $34,000 $61,850

Source notes

"Historic West Linn City Hall," Oregon Inventory of Historic Properties - Section 106 Documentation Form. Completed August 3, 2018. http://heritagedata.prd.state.or.us/historic/index.cfm?do=v.dsp_siteSummary&resultDisplay=31021

"West Linn Asks Needed Projects: City Hall, Swimming Pool and Reservoir Planned," Oregonian. August 24, 1935. p. 9.

"West Linn's First City Halls," West Linn Historical Society website. (Accessed June 8, 2021)  West Linn Historical Society - West Linn’s First City Halls (westlinnhistory.org)

"West Linn Historic City Hall Plans Turn Contentious," Pamplin Media Group. August 9, 2020. (Accessed June 9, 2021). Pamplin Media Group - West Linn historic city hall plans turn contentious

Project originally submitted by Judith T Kenny on June 9, 2021.

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