Albany’s Historic Districts

Albany is home to four historic districts, more than 700 historic buildings, and the most varied collection of architectural styles in the state.  The best way to learn about Albany’s historic districts is to come see them for yourself–but if you can’t see them in person, here’s a little information to get you started.

The Monteith District

Download a self-guided walking tour of the Monteith District.

This district is named after Thomas and Walter Monteith, two Scotsmen who traveled west from Albany, New York, in the 1840s and built the first frame house in the city in 1849. That house has has now been restored as the Monteith House Museum and looks almost the same today as it did when the Monteiths lived there, even including their original furnishings.

Other highlights of the Monteith District include stunning churches such as the Whitespires Church, (1891), known for its soaring spire and Carpenter Gothic architecture; and the United Presbyterian Church (1912), a Gothic-style stone building modeled after an English Gothic Cathedral. Both churches feature original stained glass windows. Don’t-miss residential architecture in the Monteith District includes the Cathey House, a 1906 Georgian Revival at 730 Washington–with its two-story portico and square columns, it’s sometimes called “The White House.”

For more information, click here to download a history of the Monteith District.

The Hackleman District

Download a self-guided walking tour of the Hackleman District.

Named after Abner Hackleman, a settler from Iowa who crossed the continent with oxen in 1845, the Hackleman district covers 28 square blocks and contains more than a dozen architectural styles. It contains Albany’s oldest existing church building, the St. Paul’s Methodist Church, at 238 Third Ave S.E., as well as the first plaster-walled house in Albany, the Goltra House (1893) at 331 Montgomery S.E. — the walls were first coated with a mixture of lime, sand, water and horsehair, then covered with plaster of paris shipped from Oregon City, 70 miles away.

Some of Albany’s largest and most ornate homes are in the Hackleman District, including the Chamberlain House at 7th and Baker, home of Oregon Governor and U.S. Senator George Chamberlain. At 40 feet high, it’s the tallest home in Albany. The Ralston House on the opposite corner features ornate sunburst details, stained glass windows, and an angled balcony.

For more information, click here to download a history of the Hackleman District.

The Downtown Commercial District

Download a walking tour of the Downtown Commercial District.

Albany’s commercial history began in 1848, when the Monteith brothers opened a general store in their house on the edge of the present downtown. Today’s downtown features a collection of buildings dating from that time up through the early 1900s, and includes a variety of architectural styles. Historic buildings remain in use today as restaurants, shops, and offices.

Notable buildings include the Flinn Block, 222 First Ave. W (1887), known for having one of the most ornate French Second Empire Facades in the Northwest; and the Straney and Moore Livery Stable, 321-323 Second Ave. W (1892), a fanciful Queen Anne style building.

For more information, click here to download a history of the Downtown Commercial District.

The Airport District

Albany’s Municipal Airport is the oldest airport in the Northwest and the second-oldest airport in the world. It was established in the fall of 1909, just six years after the Wright Brothers’ first powered airplane flight at Kitty Hawk, N.C. The only airport older than Albany’s is the College Park, Md. airport established in August 1909 by the U.S. military for the Wright brothers’ aviation research. It’s the oldest airport in continuous service on its original site in western Oregon, and the only airport in Oregon to be on the National Register of Historic places.

It’s still in operation today and located at 525 SE Aviation Way.

For more information, click here to download a history of the Airport District.