DescriptionAlbany was the home of the Kalapuya Indians before being settled in 1848 by two brothers from Albany, N.Y. The town changed its name in 1853 to Takenah, a Native American word describing the depression, or large pool, created by the Calapooia River as it flows into the Willamette. Two years later the town was Albany again, because too many people insisted on translating Takenah as “hole in the ground.”
Architects and historians describe Albany as having Oregon's most varied collection of historic buildings from the 1850s through the 1920s. The city has three historic districts covering approximately 100 blocks in the central part of Albany. The Downtown Historic District, bounded by Water, Washington, 2nd and Lyon streets, contains dozens of notable commercial structures representing a wide variety of architectural styles, including Queen Anne, American Renaissance, Italianate, Modified French Second Empire, Commercial Brick, Art Moderne and various 20th-century period revivals.
Two historic residential districts flank downtown. Hackleman consists of 28 blocks east of Lyon Street between 2nd and 7th avenues. The east side attracted working-class residents employed by nearby factories, mills and railroads. Their simple homes represent a dozen architectural styles.
In contrast, the much larger Monteith Historical District, southwest of downtown, became the abode of Albany's more affluent residents. It extends west from Ellsworth Street to Elm, between 2nd and 12th avenues. There are 459 properties in the district dating from 1848 to 1945 and built in styles ranging from Federal and Classical Revival to Craftsman and Bungalow. The Monteith House (1848-49) is the oldest. Plaques identify the name of the historic homes and the year they were built.
A popular pastime is touring the area's numerous covered bridges. Oregon has the largest collection of covered bridges outside of New England; a detailed brochure outlining their locations is available from the visitors association.
Visitor InfoAlbany Visitors Association 110 3rd Ave. S.E. ALBANY, OR 97321. Phone:(541)928-0911 or (800)526-2256
Self-guiding toursA self-guiding driving tour past many of the city's historic buildings, featuring such styles as Queen Anne, Italianate, French Second Empire and Classic Revival, is detailed on a map and brochure available from the visitors association.
Things to SeeAlbany Regional Museum