Thursday, October 18, 2018

Corvallis Buildings Circa 1920

Between 1910 and 1930, Benton County's population increased from 10,663 to 16,555 or by 55 percent. Corvallis experienced even more rapid growth, with the population increasing by 67 percent over this same period. One reason for the faster growth in Corvallis was the expansion of Oregon Agricultural College (now Oregon State University) noted in the last post.

In a scenario now familiar to city residents, the expansion led to a building boom.  At least 7 new apartment buildings were constructed between 1920 and 1926, including the Wilder Apartments at 963 NW Jackson Street and the Beaver Apartments on north Second Street. 

Wilder Apartments, Corvallis, OR
Beaver Apartments, Corvallis, Oregon
The Beaver Apartments used the steam produced by the neighboring laundry to heat the apartments.

The building boom was especially pronounced in 1921 and 1923, with a total of 234 new residences constructed including that at 540 NW 14th  Street (known as the Becker House). 
Becker House, Corvallis, OR
The construction extended the city expanded northward and westward, including into the College Hill area with houses such as the Gilkey house at 136 NW 30th.

Gilkey House, Corvallis, OR
The business district expanded as well, with 19 additional commercial buildings constructed in 1922 alone.  Before most commercial activity was located along Second Street; in the circa 1920 era, businesses located on Third and Fourth Streets as well. Two photographs show the extent of this development. The first shows Madison Avenue looking east from Fourth Street Intersection in 1926 and the second, of Third Street in 1930, shows the Cress Building built in 1926. 

Madison Ave., Corvallis, Oregon
Third Street, Corvallis, Ore.
By Martha Fraundorf, Volunteer for Benton County Historical Society, Philomath, Oregon 

No comments:

Post a Comment