Joshua Dillen
The Baker City Herald

The hub of city business has received a minor facelift.

Those who have visited Baker City Hall, 1655 First St., in the last week and a half might have noticed something different at the entrance to the building that was constructed in 1903 and 1904.

Crumbling tuffstone has been replaced at the base of the columns at each side of the main entrance.

The application of ice melter over the years contributed to the degradation of stone that was originally quarried in Pleasant Valley about 15 miles southeast of Baker City. Moisture seeps into the porous stone and then freezes and thaws.

“They’d just freeze and thaw and freeze and thaw and pop off ... until there was nothing left there at all,” said Budd Landon, a 73-year-old stonemason from Melba, Idaho, who specializes in historical building restoration.

The cosmetic work is part of improvements to the entryway of City Hall that began a couple of years ago.

“The front entry has been in need of a minor facelift for some time now,” Public Works Director Michelle Owen wrote in an email to the Herald. “We have improved the ramp and handrail in previous years and this aesthetic update to the stone was a final piece of the improvement project.”

Landon worked for three days in August to make the repairs that preserve the historical significance of the building.

Owen stated in the email that the work was done to deter further deterioration of the stone and to improve the overall look of City Hall.

The total cost of the project was $3,700.

See more in the Sept. 4, 2017, issue of the Baker City Herald.

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