Historical Museum interested in historic building

Historical Museum interested in historic building

EUGENE, Ore. - At the Lane County Historical Museum, you'll find a covered wagon, an iconic Volkswagon bus, a display of historical photography, even the old door from the original Lane County jail.

"We literally have not very much storage space left and what storage space we have has been stolen from the exhibit area," said Bob Hart, the museum's executive director. "The building we're in was built first in 1951 and then expanded in 1959 and we're basically bursting at the seams."

After 60 years, the museum is look for a new home - which might be a museum-worthy piece of real estate itself.

The 1938 Post Office in downtown Eugene on Willamette Street near the Hult Center has been for sale for the last 16 months.

"It's not an ideal building right now but it's a very nice historic building," Hart said. "It's on the National Register of Historic Places."

Eugene's senior planner said it's not known what role the city might play in what happens but said the Post Office is in a key location.

"What we're creating here is a walkable downtown with inviting destinations and certainly that building has an enormous amount of potential to contibute to that experience downtown," said Nan Laurence. "There's a lot of momentum towards that and this building could be part of that momentum."

Hart said the post office would prefer to stay in the building for another 3 to 5 years, which fits into the historical society's time frame. They still need to raise millions of dollars to retrofit the post office or build a new museum.