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Eugene's City Hall To Be Dismantled, Not Demolished


There will be no wrecking ball at Eugene’s City Hall. The structure is being disassembled. This week, western red cedar slats and some heavy paving stones are being removed.

The pavers that made up the concrete plaza outside the Council Chamber are being transported to BRING Recycling. Each paver weighs over 100 pounds and more than 2,000 of them have already been moved. BRING’s Executive Director, Julie Daniel, says they’re prepared to store the blocks, plus whatever other cabinets, fixtures and fittings they can take from the building.

Daniel: “This is very much a Eugene kind of thing. You know, where we want to preserve some of our cultural history. We couldn’t preserve the building, but we are at least preserving the materials.”

Mike Penwell, Eugene’s Facilities Design and Construction Manager, says the city hopes to recycle or repurpose 95 percent of the existing building:

Penwell: “A big part of that is the concrete. The building has a concrete structure and it’s got concrete block infill walls. And all of that is going to be ground up and used on site as fill.”

Western red cedar boards continue to be removed from the building’s exterior this week. Penfield says the city hopes to use them for some interesting projects:

Penwell:  “Carved doors, for example, into the public meeting room. Maybe some interior finishes. We’re also working to see if we can partner with one of the U of O art classes, or even Lane Community College classes to make some site furniture for the exterior.”

Penwell says he thinks of the process as a dismantling, not a demolition. He says they will be careful and deliberate in order not to release dust or debris into the downtown area.

Karen Richards joined KLCC as a volunteer reporter in 2012, and became a freelance reporter at the station in 2015. In addition to news reporting, she’s contributed to several feature series for the station, earning multiple awards for her reporting.
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