HASSO HERING

A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

A facelift for the old post office/city hall

Written September 20th, 2023 by Hasso Hering

The back side of the former post office and city hall looked like this on Sept. 13, 2023.

If you’ve wandered around downtown Albany, as I was last week, you may have noticed that things are happening with the old city hall at Second Avenue and Broadalbin Street.

In short, what’s happening is that the Scott Lepman Company is moving along with its plan to rehabilitate the building and move its offices there.

I asked for an update, and Candace Ribera supplied it last week. She is Lepman’s development coordinator and said in an email:

The work at the old post office/city hall (which we also refer to as the Federal Building) right now will consist of prepping the building for exterior painting, the windows are having the lead-based paint removed on the seals and jambs so they will be ready for painting, and selective demolition is occurring on the interior of the building to expose the structure for our structural engineer.

The company has been based for years in the former Sears Roebuck warehouse at Water Avenue and Ferry Street. Lepman has said that once he can move the offices, he’d like to demolish the old Sears warehouse and maybe build a combination apartment block and hotel on the lot.

The Lepman organization has several things going on, besides the old city hall.

It has started work to save and remodel the former St. Francis Hotel, while completing the last touches on the Opera House apartments at 222 First Avenue S.E. An open house at the Opera House is set for Oct. 12.

Meanwhile on a Lepman-owned parcel on North Albany Road near the middle school, earth-moving machinery has been working on the fill placed there under a 2014 permit to raise the land above the level of a 100-year flood. No land-use application covering the site has been filed.

As for the old city hall, a reader complained the other day that it was a post office far longer than a city hall, so it should be called the old post office. How about we adopt the Lepman idea and start calling it the Federal Building instead. (hh)

 

On Second Avenue, you could tell on Sept. 13 that something was going on at the “old city hall.”





5 responses to “A facelift for the old post office/city hall”

  1. Cap B. says:

    Why don’t we name Scott Lepman what he is, The City Building Tzar? The St. Francis Hotel remodel, Turning the Old Sears Warehouse into a possible Hotel, the Federal Building (Old Post Office), The Opera House apartments on First Avenue. I have only scratched the surface with my “for starters” list of Lepman’s City of Albany projects. Why does he have a monopoly in CARA’s/City Council’s eyes?

  2. Craig says:

    Why not call it the old jail. The cells are still in the basement, IIRC.

    When did Lepman acquire the building and from who?

  3. Richard Vannice says:

    If my recollection is correct the area that was the council chamber/municipal court presented some design problems since there were no supporting walls below. That area had been open from the main floor the the top of the building. The portion of the building that extends to the south was a loading dock.
    Did they say what they were going to do with the old jail area? I was told that the doors were still in place and that they had been used by former tenants as office or storage space.

  4. James Engel says:

    Well, at least on the PD with the jail when I said you’re going to jail I held the keys! Not like the revolving door County jail as it is now.

  5. CHEZZ says:

    Believe It Or Not: Many former prisons have been recreated into luxury hotels! Lepman may already have a small mini retreat in the former jail. One of these hotels online has an office area, a former courtroom, with a neon sign that reads “Guilty”, complete with a cut out judge on the bench restoring order.

 

 
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