Albany Oregon

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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Albany, Oregon--population about 42,000--is one of the Willamette Valley region's larger urban centers. Today it is both an important manufacturing center for seed, timber, food processing, and rare metals and the Linn County seat. Albany began, however, as a prosperous Victorian river town, which is evident enough in its domestic architecture. As a place to call home, Albany has wonderful character!

Straddling the Willamette River, Albany falls primarily in Linn County, though North Albany lies in Benton. This is the heart of the valley district, about midway between Salem and Eugene. You're surrounded by more than 20 fine vineyards, more than 50 covered bridges, and the rich agricultural lands that rewarded early settlers coming over the Oregon Trail.

Architectural Styles in Albany, Oregon

Among historians and architects, Albany is best known for its architectural diversity. A walk through its neighborhoods is a sound and comprehensive lesson, one you might not expect to find in Albany, Oregon. The oldest are Federal-style buildings so popular on the East Coast after the American Revolution, but built in the West from the mid-1840s onward. Gothic Revival was popular in schools and churches; most Albany examples date from about 1870.

The city's Italianate-style houses and their low-hipped roofs, overhanging eaves, and decorative brackets date from the 1880s and 1890s. Albany has more examples of French Second Empire--with its characteristic Mansard roof and tall capped chimneys--than anywhere else in the state. The collection includes as well several typically asymmetrical Eastlake homes and numerous "classic" Victorian Queen Annes. Early 20th-century Craftsman bungalows round out the rich Albany, Oregon architectural mix.


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