History

It’s original beauty and grandeur is revealing itself. The Bank Building is being restored.

1904

Bank Building Built

Bank Building
The two-story brick Bank Building was the original home of the First National Bank. Costing $14,000, it also housed Welch and Woods clothing store, Woodmen of the World – a precursor of the Chamber of Commerce – Benson’s pharmacy, Eilers Piano House, attorneys, a physician, and dentist.
1904

1912

First National Bank Relocates

The anchor tenant builds a new building and moves across Sixth Street. The Bank of Cottage Grove occupies the Bank Building creating Cottage Grove’s first “financial district”.

1912

1925

Bank Building Major Remodel

The Bank Building undergoes a major remodel. The front facade is considerably altered, including the removal of the bay window, to draw attention to the Bank of Cottage Grove entrance. A large new clock is added.
1925

1926

Flooding in Cottage Grove

Flooding in Cottage Grove occurred often before the dams were built on the Row and Coast Fork Willamette rivers.
1926

1929

The Great Depression

The severe economic depression lasted until the late 1930s. Unemployment rose to 25% and international trade plunged by more than 50%. Mining and logging suffered the most.
1929

1931

Bank of Cottage Grove Closes

The bank failed and closed its doors forever. Soon after, the upstairs commercial area is converted to apartments.

1931

1938

Gustafson’s Ice Cream

Dutch Girl Ice Cream, originally called Gustafson’s, got its start in the Bank Building. Keep an eye out for new developments on the corner.
1938

May, 2018

Current Owners

Longtime Cottage Grove residents, Len and Deb Blackstone, purchase the “biggest, ugliest building in the downtown” with the goal to help grow an economic revival of Cottage Grove’s historic district.
May, 2018

January, 2019

Renovation Begins

Len Blackstone forms a construction company and hires a crew of 10. The restoration goal is to return the Bank Building to its original grandeur. The front facade window alignment and balance returns.
January, 2019

September, 2019

Bay Window Returns

Dry rot timbers are removed and a new bay window, replicating the old, is framed. The historical windows are restored and put in place.

September, 2019

January, 2020

Apartments Remodeled

Upstairs, six new apartments will range from a studio with loft and 16-foot cove ceilings to a 12-foot ceiling, 3-bedroom, 1-bath apartment with 7-foot windows. Each apartment will have custom cabinets and countertops, gas cooking, microwave, microwave, heat pump, recessed lighting and washer-dryer. The upstairs also has a community parlor with a gas fireplace.
January, 2020

July, 2020

Projected Completion

The complete renovation of the Bank Building is expected to be completed by summer. In early Spring, the apartments will begin renting as they are finished; then the Offices downstairs, and finally the eatery on the corner. Photo: existing illustration.
July, 2020
History Restored

Renovating a Historic Treasure

It’s original beauty and grandeur is being revealed.

On the outside, the missing second-story cornice, bay window, and balcony are returning. The building’s visual balance and alignment restored. Broken and cracked stucco repaired.

Inside, transformation is also taking place.
Upstairs, there will be six completely renovated, new apartments with tall ceilings, sleeping lofts and large windows.

Downstairs will be Class A office space for 35 professionals, which will bring vibrancy and energy to the downtown.

More workers during the day; new residents at night. That’s the vision. Additionally, a new eatery and coffee shop will occupy the space on the corner of Main and Sixth Streets

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