Future of Historic Courthouse, County Seeks Your Input

Ideas for the future of this historic landmark are being explored by the Historic Courthouse Advisory Committee. Your input is important, provide your feedback at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/hcac_feedback

Completed in 1889, Benton County’s Historic Courthouse is the oldest county courthouse in Oregon still being used for its original purpose. The courthouse was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977. The building no longer meets modern courthouse operation needs, and a new courthouse and District Attorney’s office will be completed in 2026. Benton County will maintain and preserve the historic courthouse as an important community landmark and commits to giving it a new purpose and use. The courthouse will not be demolished.

The Historic Courthouse Advisory Committee includes those with expertise in historic preservation and local expertise in economic development, arts and culture, education, and tourism. A new courthouse and District Attorney’s office will be constructed and are planned to be completed by 2026. The Historic Courthouse Advisory Committee will provide reuse recommendations to the Benton County Board of Commissioners in a report based on research and public input. Committee meetings are open to the public. If you would like to submit any public comment before a meeting, please submit it to Benton County Natural Areas, Parks and Events Director, Tomi Douglas at tomi.douglas@bentoncountyor.gov.

Your Input Is Important

The Historic Courthouse Committee has developed ideas for reusing the historic courthouse and wants you to share your thoughts about this important landmark. You can provide input in the following ways:

  • Attend a committee meeting. The next meeting is January 19, 2024
  • Complete the community comment form: Available online (Español) and at all county offices from January 2 through February 15, 2024.

More opportunities to participate will follow as the project progresses, so stay tuned to this page and read the fact sheet at the link below for more information about the committee’s work.

Committee Members

  • Peter Betjemann, OSU Director of Arts and Education, College of Liberal Arts
  • Christel Birdwell, Cultural Arts and Community Engagement Supervisor, City of Corvallis
  • Jessica Hougen, Benton County Historical Society Executive Director
  • Christopher Jacobs, Economic Development Manager, City of Corvallis
  • Peter Betjemann, OSU Director of Arts and Education, College of Liberal Arts
  • Roz Keeney, Representing Preservation WORKS
  • Scott McClure, At-Large, former member of the Historic Recourses Commission
  • Christina Rehklau, Executive Director, Visit Corvallis
  • Bob Richardson, Senior Land Use Planner, Oregon State University
  • Jill Van Buren, Benton County Courthouse Preservation Committee, HCAC Vice-Chair
  • Chris Westfall, Trial Court Administrator, Oregon Judicial Department, HCAC Chair
  • Christy Wood, CEO/President, Corvallis Chamber

Advisory/Support Staff

  • Commissioner Nancy Wyse, Benton County Board of Commissioners
  • Tomi Douglas, Natural Areas, Parks & Events Director, Benton County
  • Cory Grogan, Public Information Officer, Benton County
  • Paul Wallsinger, Facilities Manager, Benton County
  • Inga Williams, Community Development Associate Planner, Benton County
  • Erica Ceder, Senior Associate, DLR Group
  • Brenda Downum, Communications and Community Engagement, Downum Consulting

History of the Courthouse

Learn more about the history of the Benton County Courthouse on the Committee CPC History – Benton County Public Works, Oregon (bentoncountyor.gov) page.

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