Historic City Hall

Established 1922

Historic City Hall History

104 SE Kibling Avenue

1972

1980

1987

1990

1991 City Council Chambers

Sam Cox, Mike McMenamin, Sharon Nesbit

1995

July 10, 2019

1907 – Troutdale incorporates as a city.

1911 – City council begins plans for a town hall purchasing two lots for $650 at the end of Columbia Street (now the Historic Columbia River Highway).

1913 – Lawsuit filed by city’s first mayor Aaron Fox contends that the contractor will profit unfairly from erection of a $5,000 City Hall, that Troutdale can’t afford it and that it has “no business” using taxpayers’ money for a dance hall on the top floor. Legal fees eat up the construction fund, leaving only a partial foundation at the site.

1922 – Troutdale residents vote 56 to 17 to build the city hall – with a dance floor – issuing a contract for $3,700.  The Troutdale City Hall opens the night before Thanksgiving with a celebratory dance. City offices and a library were on the ground floor.

    There was an elderly couple -- though I was a kid and they might have only been in their 40s -- who taught dancing in city hall, the waltz, the two-step, the Lambeth walk. There were always too many boys in Troutdale so if the Lambert girls didn’t come down from Corbett, usually I was dancing with Wayne Espenel.

                                                                       -- Vern Rathman, former Troutdale mayor
 

1926 – Improvements to City Hall: a kitchen, dining room, check room, ladies’ restroom and lounge, gentlemen’s room with smoking chambers, footlights and a curtain on the stage making it “one of the best halls of its kind in Eastern Multnomah.”

1946 – A kitchen fire after a union meeting damaged the roof of City Hall. The council first wanted to sell the damaged building, but citizens objected demanding repairs. City Hall business was conducted in a single office on the ground floor street level. The ground floor also housed a small jail with the only toilet and parking for the fire truck.

    When the city hall caught fire in 1946, the fire truck was in the basement. But nobody could find the keys to the truck.

                                                                                                                      -- Vern Rathman, former Troutdale mayor

1965 – City business in the early 1960s required only one small room on the ground floor. Juries deliberated in the kitchen. The council met downstairs unless a crowd assembled forcing a move upstairs. In the late 1960s the city tractor was evicted to make room for office space.

       In 1968 the Troutdale Historical Society held its first strawberry ice cream social in the hall and the Windy Whirlers square dance club was still meeting there. Election board members kept hot soup brewing in the kitchen as they minded the ballots and voting.

                                                                                                                                         --Sharon Nesbit, THS Historian
 

1977 – The basement space was excavated and gradually government crept upstairs usurping the dance floor, claiming the stage, the smoking area/bathroom and the little ticket booth. Office space expanded from 800 square feet to 8,500.

1989 – Another addition was added to the east side for more office space.

2011 – City Hall was vacated, and employees moved to rented offices because inspectors claimed the building would not hold up under the next snowstorm.

2019 – Troutdale City Council votes to restore the building and return it to use as Troutdale City Hall.​ The bond to fund the restoration was rejected by the community in the 2019 election.

2020 - Town Center Plan (2020-2040) suggests adaptive reuse or new development for this site.  

2020-renduring of an idea for adaptive reuse

Mailing Address: 219 E Historic Columbia River Highway, Troutdale, Oregon 97060

troutdalehistory@gmail.com  (503) 661-2164

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