L.G. Kline Building - Corvallis, OR
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member NW_history_buff
N 44° 33.797 W 123° 15.647
10T E 479291 N 4934471
This historical marker is hanging on the side of the L.G. Kline Building on SW Madison St between SW 2nd and SW 3rd Streets in downtown Corvallis.
Waymark Code: WMFK8N
Location: Oregon, United States
Date Posted: 10/28/2012
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member TheBeanTeam
Views: 3

The Lewis G. Kline building is located in downtown Corvallis and is a very narrow two-story building with wonderful architectural elements located on the front facade and roof eaves. This historical marker hanging on the side of this building along SW Madison Street says the following:

Wrap Text around ImageThe L.G. Kline Building was built in 1889 for Lewis G. Kline after his successful career as a dry goods merchant in Corvallis. Kline, a Polish immigrant, came to Corvallis with his wife, Adaline, a Russian immigrant, in 1864. The Klines and their three children sailed from the East coast to Panama, crossed the isthmus and boarded a ship to Portland. After arriving in Portland, they went by river boat to Oregon city and by wagon to Corvallis. According to daughter Pauline, the first thing Adaline noticed in Corvallis was the schoolhouse. when Lewis suggested continuing south to Monroe, Alaline answered, "I'm going to stay here and send my children to school." Lewis and Adaline opened a small tailor shop with what may have been the first sewing machine in Corvallis. According to Pauline, "The shop was on Second Avenue and for four years we lived in a shack in the rear. On one side was a saloon with a dance hall over it. Here the miners coming from the south with their bags of gold dust would stop for such entertainment as the place afforded. We never felt sure when we went to bed at night that we would not be dead by the violence before morning. Father's business prospered and after four years he built a house on North Second Street." Kline's shop was located on the west side of Second a block north of here. After retiring as active head of his family business in 1886, Lewis Kline had this "L.G.K," building constructed as an investment in 1889. The first tenant was J.D. Clark's Hardware and Tin Store. Later, it was occupied by Nolan's Gentlemen's Furnishings, (c.1895-1908); Allen's Drug Store (c. 1909-1920s); Berman's Drug Store (c.1920s-1959); and Acme Shoe Store (c 1959-1985). The building remained in the Kline family until 1985, when it was purchased by Les and Barbara Boudreaux, who restored the building, placed it on the National Register of Historic Places, and established their Five Star Sports store. the building's highly ornate facade of pressed metal is typical of the Victorian-Italianate style. The second-floor windows are separated by pressed metal pilasters imitating Corinthian columns. Above the windows are pressed-metal decorations; the original embossed tin ceiling can be seen inside the store. An excellent example of Corvallis commercial buildings of the "Railroad era" (1880-1904), the L.G. Kline Building was built just a year after the stately Courthouse (1888) and the same year as the distinguished Administration Building at the Oregon Agricultural College (OSU's Benton Hall.) Part of the vital commercial and civic neighborhood at second and Madison, the Kline Building was surrounded by banks, hotels, mercantiles and saloons. The two-story brick building across the street to the south housed the downtown offices of the Oregon Pacific Railroad and the Hamilton and Job Bank. The property across the alley was occupied by the early fire hall, the City Hall and city jail, and later by the offices and printing plant of the Gazette-Times newspaper.

I should mention that the owners of the L.G. Kline Building still operate Five Star Sports on the first floor and the building is painted in a dark, rich burgundy color with green awnings as accents.

This historical marker was placed in 2004 by the Madison Avenue Task Force. It is comprised of a volunteer group of citizens who's mission is to provide a walking tour of downtown Corvallis for pedestrians to pause and appreciate Corvallis' history and art. Many historical markers and art objects are strategically placed throughout the walking tour. Click here to go to their website and learn more about other historical markers and works of art located downtown.

Historic Topic: Modern Age 1900 to date

Group Responsible for placement: Historical Society

Marker Type: City

Region: Willamette Valley

County: Benton

State of Oregon Historical Marker "Beaver Board": Not listed

Web link to additional information: Not listed

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