New sign at Courthouse is pretty and practical

By Jayson Jacoby July 30, 2012 11:08 am

Terri Harber/Baker City Herald This new wooden sign at the corner of Washington Avenue and Third Street helps people find the Baker County Courthouse.


By Terri Harber

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People looking at the Baker County Courthouse might notice a recent addition at the edge of the courtyard: a new sign near the corner of Washington Avenue and Third Street. 

It’s a wooden, two-sided sign supported by posts made from pressure-treated wood. The sign is accented with a bed of seasonal flowers beneath it.

Vince Woods, the county’s facility maintenance director, said the sign had been in the works for two years. This was when he began drawing 

out possible designs, as time allowed between other duties. 

It’s based on similar looking signs in Pendleton, such as those at that city’s Parks, Recreation and Cemetery building, he said.

A $500 Big Deal grant, which helps downtown businesses upgrade their buildings, came from Baker City this past spring. The money was for this sign as well as the steel sign that went up earlier this year marking the Courthouse entrance.

It was crafted by inmates at the Powder River Correctional Facility in the wood shop, where final design touches, particularly the mountain scene adorning the tops of the signs, were made. 

Woods considered a filigree flourish but “their design worked better,” he said. “It turned out awesome.” 

Woods said the county was appreciative for the help from the prison, which houses offenders who are preparing to re-enter the outside world.

People there were able to “utilize their skills and also help the public,” he said.  

The Courthouse is where most county business is conducted and also draws tourists. 

The sign should help people more easily find the Courthouse because a significant amount of vehicle traffic coming to the building originates from Broadway and Washington. 

The Courthouse is part of Baker City’s historic district listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Woods eventually would like to see a similar sign on the opposite edge of the courtyard, the corner of Court Avenue and Third Street.

“That would balance things out,” he said.


Updated: July 31, 2012, corrections made to location of sign, courthouse