A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Corner building regains historic look

Written January 21st, 2024 by Hasso Hering

Seen from across the intersection, the restoration project at 401 Second Ave. looked like this on Jan. 19, 2024.

On my first excursion to downtown Albany after our January ice storm last week, I could not help but notice the progress on the ambitious project to restore a structure that was built nearly a century and a half ago.

It’s the building at 401 Second Ave. S.W. The reconstruction is not yet finished, but the exterior of the corner building now looks pretty much the way photos from the 1920s show it.

I last reported on the place in August 2022, after the Albany Landmarks Commission approved the exterior remodeling and use of substitute materials.

Paperwork submitted for that application said the building dated from 1877, when it was built as a furniture factory. By the 1920s, it housed a plumbing business owned by one Martin Ludwig.

Various other businesses occupied the space in recent years until November 2017, when part of the roof of the two-story building fell in.

Beverly Bartley-Nagamoto, of Corvallis, bought the property in 2021 and took on the task of restoring it for commercial use downstairs and living space above.

She intended to restore the exterior to the appearance it had during the Ludwig plumbing days. This called for reestablishing the tall storefront windows and opening up the arched windows on the second floor, which had been covered up.

As passersby can see, now that the construction fencing is gone, those exterior changes have been accomplished, though last week the upstairs windows still needed glass.

The job was designed by Christina Larson of Varitone Architecture. The contractor is Pyburn Building and Remodeling Inc.

I stopped at the corner on a bleak afternoon with frozen slush on the ground. I look forward to seeing the finished result in the light of a warm summer day. (hh)

The corner of Second and Ferry will look pretty spiffy when the Ludwig building is completely restored.

5 responses to “Corner building regains historic look”

  1. Cap B. says:

    Thanks, Hasso, for all your blog posts and pictures, including this one on lovely old building kiity-korner from Sybaris. Took me a couple of minutes to orient my mind as to which building it is. Was thinking that it was the building a block further on the one-way that has the lettering uncovered on the brick of the name of an old business establishment.) Seeing the St. Francis Hotel in your photo got me back on track. The hotel languishes there waiting for the over-booked Lepmans. I’m glad Pyburn and Sons are re-doing the building in your picture. Good people. (Also, thanks for the video yesterday of flooded areas on Bryant Drive.)

  2. RZ says:

    The 1st hand Seconds building project next door was finished and looks wonderful. Take a look at it after dark too! Glad to see beauty expanding to another street in downtown Albany!

  3. Patricia Eich says:

    Thanks for for update Hasso. Nice to see how it’s come along. I agree with RZ, the 1st Hand Seconds next door looks very nice. I went their open house and was impressed.

  4. Periwinkle Blue Shoes says:

    The Ludwig being beautifully restored is refreshing to see. I will happy to see it when it’s completed.

  5. CHEZZ says:

    I am happy that the owner is cognizant of the building’s history and lovely restoration! And, a few more spots for Downtown living!


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