Year Built: 1913
Location: Lakeview, Oregon
Frequently described as “The Cornerstone” of downtown Lakeview, the Heryford Building has been at the center of Lake County commerce since its completion in 1913. This Lakeview landmark was financed by William and James Heryford – siblings in a pioneering Lake County family. With profits from the sale of the family’s ranch, the brothers hired architect Frederic Joseph DeLongchamps to design a building they intended as the cultural and commercial hub of Lakeview.
DeLongchamps, a native of Reno, developed an architectural practice which eventually made him one of Nevada’s most noted and prolific architects. He designed the Nevada Supreme Court building as well as nine county courthouses in Nevada and California and his commission for the Lakeview passenger station of the Nevada-California-Oregon Railway likely inspired his retention by the Heryfords. The Lake County Examiner hailed his design for the Heryford Brothers Building as the “first modern building in Lake County.” The façade features classically-derived ornamentation applied to Chicago-style elevations composed of a rusticated stonework base, brick veneered shaft, and detailed metal cornice capital. The steel-framed structure which supports the 53,500 square foot building is purported to be the first of its kind in Oregon constructed outside of the Willamette Valley. Upon completion, all three floors and the massive basement were plumbed, wired for telephone and electricity, and accessed by “automatic” elevators.
Original tenants of the Heryford Building included the Lakeview Mercantile Company – a department store owned in part by James Heryford – which occupied much of the first and second floors. The Antlers Club of the local Elks Lodge was another prominent occupant with a post office, drug store, and the United States Land Office rounding out the commercial tenants. Offices occupied the third floor.
Over the past century, use of the building and its tenants have changed. The Heryford Family sold their building in the 1930s to the Elks Lodge. The third floor was subsequently converted to apartments and commercial occupants on the first and second floor have fluctuated. The Heryford was acquired by its present owner in 1990 and it has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Despite the best efforts of the current owner, only the first floor of the Heryford Building is currently permitted for occupancy. Harm done to the structure when a previous owner allowed major water damage from burst pipes have rendered the third floor unusable and prevented use of much of the second. The roof must be replaced and a major investment made to allow the use of all three floors. Despite its prominent downtown location, the Heryford suffers from the same economic climate that plagues many remote Oregon communities and outside investment in this landmark has been difficult to identify.
A local stakeholder committee organized by the Lakeview Community Partnership with the enthusiastic participation of the owner has begun to meet. Their efforts to understand potential uses for the building and begin planning for its rehabilitation will be assisted by Restore Oregon. Together we will see the Heryford Building’s renewed life as Lakeview’s “Cornerstone.”