A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Old look restored to historic building

Written May 22nd, 2024 by Hasso Hering

The restored exterior of the historic building at 401 Second Ave. looked like this on May 19, 2024.

A piece of Albany’s architectural history has been revived with the renovation of the building at 401 Second Ave. S.W., on the northwest corner of Second and Ferry Street.

You may have read stories about this project here before. The Albany Landmarks Commission approved the remodeling and use of substitute materials in July 2022. And last January, I ran a progress report when the exterior changes had become apparent.

Now, builder Matt Pyburn told me, the exterior work is complete except for an awning over the access door to the upstairs. The awning is coming in another week or so. His company, Pyburn Building and Remodeling Inc., did the construction.

Still to be completed is the interior of the upstairs apartment.

A “precision golf” studio has rented the commercial space on the ground floor.

According to paperwork submitted to the Landmarks Commission two years ago, the building dates 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 subsequent years until November 2017, when part of the roof of the two-story building fell in. Gerding Builders fixed that problem and repaired the building at the time.

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.

With its tall storefront windows, the exterior now has the same appearance as during the Ludwig plumbing days of 100 years ago. And the upstairs windows have their arches back.

This building was handsome and stylish a century ago. Thanks to its owner and the work of Pyburn and architect Christina Larson, it is so again. (hh)

This was the “before” photo taken when the Albany Landmarks Commission approved the renovation.

12 responses to “Old look restored to historic building”

  1. Lisa Farnam says:

    That’s a handsome looking building now. Makes you wonder why someone uglified it in the first place!

    • Coffee says:

      Because most of the architecture in the U.S. from about 1950 on was ugly as hell, that’s why.
      In the mid-20th century, the big push was to tear down all old buildings. I can remember joining the protesters on 1st Street in Albany when the city let the damned bankers tear down the original French’s Jeweler’s building to put in the parking lot for the bank. The bank is now torn down and is also a parking lot because CARA (who are also the city counselors and mayors) mess up royally on handling anything to do with Albany

  2. khz says:

    Nice original and warm color, unlike the ‘orange stuff’ on some other buildings downtown now.

  3. Ann Hoffman says:

    I was in this building for almost 40 years. About 30 of them in this exact location. This building has never looked this wonderful! I say great job to Pyburn and great job to the owner for making these choices. Wish it looked this good when I was there. GREAT addition to downtown Albany!

  4. Jennifer Stuart says:

    Does anyone have any historic photos of this building you could include here? I would love to see some from around 1880 and the 1920s!

  5. Mike says:

    Great rehab. The upstairs windows are wonderful.

  6. Josh Mason says:

    Wasn’t this building The Broadway in the 1980’s?

  7. CHEZZ says:

    Matt Pyburn’s team once again has completed excellent work on this building – no shortcuts from them!

  8. T M says:

    That is a beautifully designed building. Much more artistically appealing than the Lego blocks look before.

  9. Gary House says:

    Thank you for this article Hasso! I particularly enjoy the before and after photos. The modern, old style, street lights go along nicely with this new, old building.


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