How quickly 129 years of history can be all but erased.

In the case of Huntington’s landmark Oregon Commercial Company building, constructed in 1890, it took all of a couple hours.

The fire last week that demolished the building and severely damaged two adjoining structures dramatically altered the familiar skyline of the town of 440 residents in the southeast corner of Baker County.

In this case it appears all but certain that the fire wasn’t an accident but rather arson.

Regardless, the episode offers a reminder that none our landmark structures is invulnerable. All the more reason we should cherish the architectural legacy we’re so fortunate, in places such as Baker City, to enjoy.

It’s a sad time for Huntington.

But it’s gratifying to see the community rally by planning a fundraising meal on Saturday.

— Jayson Jacoby, Baker City Herald editor

23334643