A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Cumberland move gets Landmarks’ OK

Written October 7th, 2020 by Hasso Hering

The Cumberland Church on a rainy day in September.

The Albany Landmarks Commission Wednesday unanimously approved a plan to move — and thereby save — the historic Cumberland Church.

A nonprofit neighborhood group, the Cumberland Community Events Center, intends to move the structure from the corner of Main Street and Santiam Road to the corner of Santiam and Pine, about 1,000 feet down Santiam.

The group is buying a city-owned lot at Santiam and Pine for $69,000 and negotiating to obtain three additional lots from the city at the vacant site, next to the Albany Skatepark. The city, which has owned the old church since 2000, plans to sell it to the group for a dollar just before it is ready for the move. Just when that might happen is unknown.

Joel Orton, one of the Cumberland group’s leaders, spoke during the virtual Landmarks hearing. He said a Portland company experienced in moving buildings has examined the structure and determined it can be safely moved in one piece.

Before the move, though, the bell tower will have to be taken off. This will allow the tower to be restored before it is put back once the church is in its new place.

Other details the commission learned from Orton:

♦  The basement will not be part of the move or restoration. It contains a kitchen and non-functioning restrooms. At the new site those support functions are to be housed in an addition.

♦  The church bell in the tower was removed some time ago, and the city has it. Orton says it will be put back where it belongs once the church is moved and the tower is remounted.

Friends of Historic Albany submitted a letter in support of the group’s request for Landmarks approval. Another letter in support, with four signatures I could not understand, also was read.

The Landmarks board was delighted with the effort to save the old church by moving it. Later in its meeting the board voted to honor the Cumberland group with a historic preservation award for its efforts so far. (hh)

6 responses to “Cumberland move gets Landmarks’ OK”

  1. Bill Kapaun says:

    They’re selling it for $69k and then selling it for $1?
    That doesn’t make sense.
    How much for the 3 lots?

    • Hasso Hering says:

      The city is selling one lot to the community group for $69,000. I don’t think the price of the remaining 3 lots has been settled. If it has, I don’t know it. I think the total for all four lots was going to end up around $260,000. Then, eventually, when the move is about to take place, the city will sell the building to the group for a buck.

  2. Lundy says:

    Hasso, on a related topic: Anything new on the Palestine/Adair church since you wrote about it in 2016? https://hh-today.com/take-a-look-at-new-palestine-church/

  3. Rick says:

    Last I saw was $ 207,000 for the other three lots. After up to three years of inexpensive rental of the lots.

  4. Robert Turner says:

    My wife and I were last ones to get married in that church July 30 2012. A lot of memories there for her and her family. My wife went to school there for many years, with her Dad being the Pastor/ teacher. He was the one that married us… We used to attend church there before the City kicked us out and would not renew the lease. It would be nice to have our Pastor be able to preach there again. They all play music. Her dad was guitar, Mother sang. Brother played drums. My wife played piano and sang… Strange though. The toilets always worked just fine… I never heard the bell ring in my time there, as the city would not fix it before they removed it…

  5. James Engel says:

    Please donate as I have a few times. This will happen thru the will of the people!


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