A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Historic review: Dahl’s project wins approval

Written November 6th, 2019 by Hasso Hering

The chimneys at 331 Montgomery S.E. as shown in the staff report to the Albany Landmarks Commission.

Contractor Joel Dahl got support Wednesday from the Albany Landmarks Commission for his restoration of the historic Goltra House at 331 Montgomery St. S.E.

After a hearing on Dahl’s project for “historic review,” the board voted 3-1 with one abstention to approve his requests to replace various elements on the outside of the house, such as metal roof railings, crown moldings, facia, porch flooring, and siding. It also agreed with his use of steel doors instead of wood on the property’s carriage house.

There was a lot of discussion about the two brick chimneys rising above the roof and visible from the Fourth Avenue side of the house, which dates from 1892. The board majority agreed with Dahl that the chimneys are deteriorated to the point where they are unsafe and must be removed. But the members also urged him — and made this a condition of approval — to document the dimensions and appearance of the chimneys, and to fix it so replicas can be put back later.

Landmarks members Larry Preston, a contractor, and architect Bill Ryals suggested how exact replicas can be made with much lighter materials, such as fiberglass, without adding weight to the roof. This way, Dahl can remove the lower parts of the crumbling chimneys inside the house as he intends.

Three or four neighbors spoke up to praise Dahl for what he has done with the house. So did the members of the Landmarks board. (For some background on this project, check the story here.)

Commission members Preston, Ryals, and David Abarr voted to approve Dahl’s request. Jolene Thomson voted no, and commission chair Kerry McQuillin abstained. Two other members were absent. (hh)

The Landmarks Commission (left), city staff and audience at Wednesday’s hearing on Joel Dahl’s project.

9 responses to “Historic review: Dahl’s project wins approval”

  1. J. Jacobson says:

    The Commission is so obsessed with “architectural exactitude” that it allows the new owner to fashion replacement chimneys out of substitute materials, hang steel doors where steel doors ought not be, and replace molding, facia, etcetera…simply to maintain the false illusion about a certain part of town.

    This is the ultimate victory of form over substance. The Commission is to be congratulated for elevating the ridiculous to the sublime, using the case of a person who forces his employees to attend bible readings. If you don’t see the patent absurdity in all this, then you’re not looking.

  2. Jim Thomas says:

    Joel Dahl is an honest, generous and decent man. He does not deserve to be attacked for his sincerely held religious beliefs. I wish I could get paid to attend Bible study.

  3. Sarah Rodgers says:

    So happy for Joel and his family this is an amazing story he’s creating with his life and to end up in the home that he got sober in is an even better part of the story!! You’ve worked so hard Joel and continue to help others your a great person!!

  4. Karen Selvog says:

    Joel is a wonderful human being. More power to him for what he has accomplished in his life he and his crew did wonderful work for me on the house
    Keep it up Joel God. Bless

  5. CHEZZ says:

    Mr. Dahl, we are behind you as you continue to flourish! You are creating a wonderful historical home for your family that is so meaningful. The absurdity comes from those who think it is a good idea to attack a good man who continues to succeed.

  6. Jim Engel says:

    Well bless the Commissions heart for allowing Dahl to proceed! In an earlier post I had negative comments about their usefulness. That is kind of silly though to cause Dahl to make replicas of the chimneys.

    • Hasso Hering says:

      The Landmarks Commission did not ask or require Dahl to make replicas. It wants him to document the chimneys before taking them down so replicas can be made. It’s unclear when that might be done, or by whom.

  7. Mike patrick says:

    The typical 2 have to post their negative comments like they do most days. They use words they had to look up to sound intelligent.

    You know who you are!


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