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The Ralston House is likely the most photographed building in Albany. This 1889 Victorian wonder is an Eastlake Stick style home featuring sunbursts, stained glass and an angled balcony off the master bedroom. Click on the photo to see some amazing detail.

Albany — Historic Homes and Hitler's Silverware

We were eager to visit Albany when we learned that it had the largest collection of 19th century buildings in the state of Oregon. We were surprised to find, despite its rich architectural heritage, Albany has managed to retain its historic charm while not appearing pretentious or becoming overly gentrified for tourists. The historic neighborhoods appear to have working families living in the restored homes while the downtown isn’t just crammed with ice cream and antique stores but with businesses that actually serve the community.

Since there are over 500 historic properties clustered in a small central core, it is easy to walk around and enjoy the historic downtown and adjoining neighborhoods. Since the town has meticulously documented the history of most structures, it was easy to decipher the nuances of the gothic revival, Italianate, Queen Anne and Eastlake architecture. A city landmark, whose towering spirals are visible from most of downtown, is the aptly named Whitespirals Church. The doors were locked and signs were posted requesting donations for its restoration.

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