Rebuilding the Past

Proposed exterior
Proposed exterior
Corvallis needs a museum. While much is happening in the way of science, progress, and research, a building dedicated to the protection of history is glaringly absent from this riverside town. Fortunately, Irene Zenev, executive director of the Benton County Historical Society, has a plan to solve the problem.

Funding, Design and More
According to Zenev, BCHS has been working hard to raise funds for the Corvallis Museum & Cultural Center to open in 2016. Currently working out of Philomath, the museum itself will be located downtown Corvallis on 2nd Street and Adams Avenue and is being designed by local and world renowned architect Brad Cloepfil. An Oregon native, Cloepfil has designed impressive structures in Portland and New York City. His design for the Corvallis museum includes two floors with a courtyard, museum store, and floor-to-ceiling glass cases for exhibits.

And in fact, The Corvallis Museum & Cultural Center has been in the works for quite some time — enough time for Corvallis residents to wonder if the museum is still going to happen. Zenev reassures us that progress is being made, just quietly in the slow and steady pace customary for a museum. The entire project, in the November 2013 Fundraising Report, totals about $14 million. “If we can raise between $4 and $6 million in 2014,” Zenev says with determination, “we can break ground and complete construction by the end of 2016.”

Location, Location, Location…
Location is an important aspect of this project. The museum hopes to reach tourists, students, and Corvallis citizens in a way that is difficult in Philomath. The Philomath location will continue to serve as a research library, house collections, and display local art. The society believes the downtown museum will encourage tourist activity, benefiting the many restaurants and shops in the area. And that’s not to mention the countless Corvallisites that will come to cherish it over the years as it protects our past and helps shape our future.

by Addie Maguire