Canby's American Legion hall takes advantage of a city program to give itself a much needed overhaul

The Canby American Legion has put on a new face.

Post 122 at 424 NW First Ave. held a reopening celebration last week after undergoing an extensive remodeling.

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - American Legion Post 122 before renovation project.The about $90,000 project added a new roofline and parapet stacked rock wainscot, a new smaller awning, upgraded windows and doors, an attractive entrance with better handicapped access, and new tan and brown color scheme.

A $3,000 grant paid for design services and construction drawings. The façade improvement program provided $25,000, which was matched by the Legion.

The Urban Renewal Agency contributed another $25,000 and granted the Legion a $35,000 loan from its revolving loan fund.

The project also resolved an important issue for the post. The remodeling brings the post into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The old wheelchair ramps were too steep, said Michael Landerville. He is the post adjutant and Carl Coffman is post commander. Now the building has a new glass front and an electronic door for its disabled members.

Planning for the project began a year ago. Scott Beck Architects did the design. Ken Hostettler Construction did the heavy work.

Legion members also pitched in, Landerville said. “They did a lot of the finish work and painting inside,” he said. “It was a pretty big volunteer project.”

It is still a work in progress, Landerville said. They are still refining the new electronic entry system and the signage is not up yet.

The top of the façade will hold a 36-inch American Legion seal and the marquis or awning part will have Canby American Legion Post 122 in backlit bronze letters. He hoped to see it up within a month.

The remodeling is the latest step in the evolution of the building, which was constructed in 1913. It started out a furniture store and later morphed into a movie theater, complete with balcony, Landerville said. The Canby Theater closed in 1958 after vandals damaged the interior and furnishings.

Post 122 bought the building in 1967, he said. The Legionnaires removed the balcony and put in a second story with full kitchen and general-purpose rooms. That is where the post holds its breakfasts, dinners and other community events.

The building was remodeled again in the mid-1980s, he said. They put in hardwood floors for the whole first floor and the dance floor upstairs. The wood flooring they used was left over from the former skating rink in Wait Park.

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