Buildings celebrate major milestone

By Observer editorial November 28, 2012 02:06 pm
Rule of thumb: One in 20,000 men live to the ripe old age of 100, and one in 2,500 women.

Buildings might have better odds of reaching the century mark, but it is still much worth celebrating when a building reaches this milestone. Several buildings in Union County have reached or are close to reaching the mark. The Elgin Opera House led the way with a grand celebration this past September, and two important buildings in La Grande now following suit — La Grande City Hall and the public library that now houses the Art Center.

The city hall structure at Fourth Street and Adams Avenue remains a landmark with its striking ornate features.

The building’s 100th birthday will be celebrated Dec. 12 as part of the City Council’s Holiday Open House. A century of public library services in La Grande will also be celebrated.

The city hall building was first named the Federal Building, originally served as La Grande’s U.S. Postal Service building for 50 years. Around 1980, the City of La Grande purchased the Federal Building for a relatively small sum, and city offices were moved there in 1982. 

Today, the La Grande City Hall is on the National Register of Historic Places and is a handsomely proportioned and beatifically detailed example of the Georgian Revival style of architecture.

The Carnegie library, not quite 100 years old, was completed in late 1913. The library served
La Grande through September 2006, when it moved to the present Cook Memorial Library location. Now the building, thoroughly remodeled, serves as the Art Center and is an important part of the cultural life of the community.

The Holiday Open House is a good chance for residents to celebrate these two buildings and all the history that has made there in the past century.