A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

After 35 years, it’s good-by old stage

Written March 23rd, 2023 by Hasso Hering


The roof of he Monteith Riverpark stage was gone Thursday, as you could see from a window in the community center.

Thirty-five years ago, Albany volunteers using mostly donated materials built the roof over the stage in Monteith Riverpark. On Thursday the roof was gone, demolished as part of the park renovation and the city’s Waterfront Project.

The roof had been repainted and remodeled at least once since it was built in the spring of 1988.

Albany Parks and Recreation Director Dave Clark had organized volunteers, plus donations of labor and construction materials, to build the roof on the park’s stage. The main point was to protect River Rhythms concert performers from occasional summertime rains.

Consultants who designed the  Waterfront Project for CARA, the downtown urban renewal district, designed a new stage to replace the old one.

The $8.4 million contract to rebuild Monteith Riverpark and a part of the Dave Clark Riverfront Path is the first phase of CARA’s $15 million Riverfront Project. The second part, also to be completed this year, calls for upgrading the western section of Water Avenue.

On the city’s web page for the project, there’s a rendition of what the new stage will look like:

And for the sake of nostalgia, here’s a page from the Albany Democrat-Herald from June 24, 1988, the day after a community celebration dedicated the new roof. I lifted the page from Newspapers.com, which explains the fuzzy reproduction:

Much more recently, this past Feb. 1, someone used the old stage as a temporary shelter:

Come next year, the new stage should be in place. Let it embody as much community spirit and, in time, memories as this one did. (hh)


20 responses to “After 35 years, it’s good-by old stage”

  1. PH says:

    And yet the potholes on surrounding streets are unbearable.

    • Anony Mouse says:

      I agree. Albany has a CARA tax, but no street maintenance tax.

      So they need to copy other Oregon cities:

      Ashland, Canby, Bay City, Corvallis, Eagle Point, Grants Pass, Hubbard, La Grande, Lake Oswego, Medford, Milwaukie, North Plains, Philomath, Phoenix, Talent, Tigard, Tualatin, West Linn, and Wilsonville.

      Of course, the cities don’t call it a tax because that requires voter approval.

      So the cities did an end-around and called it a Pavement Maintenance Utility Fee.

      I sense salivating at Albany City Hall.

    • Cap B. says:

      Yes, potholes abound in most Albany Streets, but the self-anointed, supreme leaders of Albany (that is, the City Council who are CARA Board) don’t care. They can’t see past their feelings of importance and power.

    • Ray Kopczynsk says:

      Yes, some are. Many are not… Go to the city’s website, search for “streets.” 2nd Iink starts with “The Basics” Good & very necessary reading IMO…

      • MarK says:

        Nothing about correcting what’s wrong. Pretty hard to “maintain” streets that have been neglected for so many years, with no end in sight.

        • Ray Kopczynski says:

          On the same page as “The Basics” is the index showing the other topics – including Funding options:

          Street Maintenance
          Keeping Pavement in Good Shape
          Goals and Costs

          Because of the costs, arterial & collector streets have a higher priority over any residential streets.

          • MarK says:

            Isn’t that kind of saying, “Screw the residents and just take care of those just passing through”?

          • Ray Kopzynski says:

            MarK –
            No – The answer to your question is #2 in the Q&A section…

  2. Marie Strupith says:

    This project is another one of the city’s frivolous projects and ignoring the real need downtown which is the streets that are in such desperate need of repair. I hate driving those streets with all the potholes. What’s wrong with you? You continue to ignore real problems. Shameful.

  3. Carolee Gascoigne says:

    Our infrastructure needs repair, especially our streets which are full of potholes. It seems as if our City Government has lost sight of what is important: maintaining and repairing existing infrastructure.

  4. Abe Cee says:

    You’ll take your potholes and soon-to-be gravel roads and you’ll like them! That’s certainly one cheap way to get cars off the road.

  5. JH Briggs says:

    Did the consultants who designed the Waterfront Project for CARA plan for ADA parking near the River Front Community Center, aka Albany Senior Center? This project seems to exclude the seniors and handicaps from having easy access to the “center”.

  6. Cap B. says:

    Hasso, Thanks for the picture of the resourceful homeless person camping on the Monteith stage. Can you tell me what was wrong with that stage that couldn’t be repaired? Of course, it lines the pockets of the bid-winning construction company to tear it down and build a new one. Also, it gets rid of some of the 15 million dollars burning a hole in CARA’s pockets. Because of CARA, the taxpayer’s pockets are empty and streets are in ruin and so are bridges. Schools and police and fire have to pass bond measures to get operating money, because CARA has put a cap on how much general property tax money they get.

  7. centrist says:

    A common complaint on this site is bad paving.
    Usually followed by a statement demeaning CARA as wasteful.
    Often followed by a jab at Ray K.
    There’s an established mechanism to solve the angst : develop an executable program, get enough backing from the public to fund it, do it.

  8. George van Keulen says:

    Don’t blame CARA, thats basic improvements. It you want to expand your city design with suburbs you are always chasing your tail. As an city you need more density, there will be more taxpayers per sq.ft to support infrastructure, better roads for all. Roads in the old parts of the city are way to wide, mostly for just a car to park on. In the life of a car 90% is it parked., very expensive for taxpayers. It’s all connected housing cost, infrastructure, our society has to make different choices, sooner the better, it all starts with design going up.

  9. Mike says:

    Lots of good memories looking at that old stage. I’m looking forward to the new one and the next 35 years. It’s a great community investment.

    • Anony Mouse says:

      “Investment”, when uttered by a politician, is used to obscure what they really mean – spending.

      Most of us use the term “investment” to mean allocating resources (usually money) with the expectation of generating future income or profit.

      CARA’s spending is just that – spending. They don’t (won’t?) reveal what they expect in future tax revenue (the TI in TIF). They owe the taxpayers how much in expected real dollars, not fuzzy things like “public good”, will be created for the taxing districts.

      Until they show expected $$$ returns, don’t play their game and parrot words like “investment.” You play right into their hand when you do.

      • Matthew Calhoun says:

        Says the person who’s too scared to back their words with their real name. Anything else is troll/bot talk.


HH Today: A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley
Albany Albany City Council Albany council Albany downtown Albany Fire Department Albany housing Albany parks Albany Planning Commission Albany police Albany Post Office Albany Public Works Albany riverfront Albany Station Albany streets Albany traffic Albany urban renewal apartments ARA Benton County bicycling bike lanes Bowman Park Bryant Park CARA City of Albany climate change COVID-19 Cox Creek Cox Creek path Crocker Lane cumberland church cycling Dave Clark Path DEQ downtown Albany Edgewater Village gun control Highway 20 homeless housing Interstate 5 Linn County marijuana Millersburg Monteith Riverpark North Albany Obama ODOT Oregon coast Oregon legislature Pacific Boulevard Pacific Power Portland & Western Republic Services Riverside Drive Santiam Canal Scott Lepman Talking Water Gardens The Banks Tom Cordier Union Pacific urban renewal Water Avenue Waverly Lake Willamette River

Copyright 2022. All Rights Reserved. Hasso Hering.
Website Serviced by Santiam Communications
Hasso Hering