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VFW post looking for a new home

Group sells longtime meeting hall on Howard Street, cites handicapped access as reason

Photo Credit: GARY ALLEN - The Veterans of Foreign Wars are packing up and moving out of the meeting hall they've congregated in for decades. They will temporarily hold meetings in the building housing Newberg F.I.S.H. until they find a new permanent home. The 101-year-old building that has been the longtime home of the local Veterans of Foreign Wars post was originally built as a church. As a sale is in progress the VFW is moving out and looking to build or buy a different building, citing a need for increased handicapped access.The local Veterans of Foreign Wars post is moving out of the building it has occupied for decades and are on the lookout for a new home.

Their headquarters, located at 111 S. Howard St., is two stories tall, which is part of the reason for the move.

“We need more of a level building,” said Wayne Miller, post commander.

He cited handicapped access needs as the primary motivation for selling the building.

While a deal has been reached and the real estate agency’s website lists the sale as “pending,” Miller said the group is still hunting for a new permanent building to meet in.

“Right now we’re just looking to see if we can build or buy,” he said. “We’re moving as we speak — we should be out by the end of the month.”

During the transition, Miller said the VFW will be meeting at 115 S. Elliot Road, the former Current Electronics building that houses Newberg F.I.S.H. and is owned by the Chehalem Park and Recreation District.

A box for people to drop off old flags at the VFW building has been moved to Second and Blaine streets in front of the fire station.

As for the future of their former headquarters, Miller said he could not identify the buyer because of the pending sale, and said he does not know what the buyer’s plans for the building are.

The meeting hall was built in 1914 for use as a church, according to the historic resource survey conducted by the city in 1990.

Before its construction, the congregation had met on the second floor of Porter’s General Store, which later became Butler Chevrolet and is now the site of First Community Credit Union and a swath of undeveloped land owned by the city at the corner of First and Howard streets.

Ten years after the church’s construction, the congregation built a new church on Second and College streets and moved to that location. While the VFW building on Howard Street was not added to the city’s historic landmark list, the survey found that it is “a good example of an early building type, having maintained integrity of materials and design with the exception of removing the original porch.”

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