Heritage All-Star Community: A first for Albany and Oregon!
By Anne Catlin
On behalf of our heritage partners and the Albany Landmarks Commission, we are thrilled to be the first to get this designation. The day that the first email went out explaining the new Oregon Heritage All-Star Community designation, several of Albany’s heritage partners began talking about the criteria, and how many of them we thought that Albany already met. We thought the designation would well-deserved recognition to all of our heritage partners and volunteers, and the cooperation that exists in the heritage community of Albany.
After the Oregon Main Street Conference in October we realized that we had an opportunity to be the first city in Oregon to achieve this designation, and we decided to go for it. We announced the intention through the Friends of Historic Albany’s Google group and gathered the information needed for the application from various partners including the City and nonprofit organizations.
Albany’s heritage partners have been working together for over 30 years to develop unique opportunities to share this heritage with residents and visitors, creating a welcome sense of place here in Albany, Oregon that is like no other. From the pioneer life of the Monteith House Museum, through the collections at the Albany Regional Museum, to tours of Albany’s National Register Historic Districts, a strong Main Street community and the many volunteers, Albany boasts the best of well-established roots and a strong spirit for our heritage. Visitors and residents are given many opportunities to experience Albany’s heritage up-close through tours, collections, the arts, and new and exciting adventures such as Albany’s Historic Carousel Museum.
We all believe there is value in the preservation of Albany’s heritage and we are proud of the Heritage All-Star Community designation. Now that the designation has been made we are looking forward to being able to use this to toot Albany’s horn, and show Oregon (and the rest of the world) that Albany is a special place with people and organizations that care about its culture, its history, and its future. In essence we want to let people know that Albany is a place that matters. We plan to start working on ways to achieve the rest of the 20 criteria to continue to strengthen our heritage partners and programs.
Anne Catlin is a planner for the City of Albany.