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Historic Courthouse Advisory Committee

Completed in 1889, Benton County’s Historic Courthouse is the oldest county courthouse in Oregon still being used for its original purpose. The courthouse was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977. The building no longer meets modern courthouse operation needs, and a new courthouse and District Attorney’s office will be completed in 2026. Benton County will maintain and preserve the historic courthouse as an important community landmark and commits to giving it a new purpose and use. The courthouse will not be demolished.

The Historic Courthouse Advisory Committee includes those with expertise in historic preservation and local expertise in economic development, arts and culture, education, and tourism. A new courthouse and District Attorney’s office will be constructed and are planned to be completed by 2026. The Historic Courthouse Advisory Committee will provide reuse recommendations to the Benton County Board of Commissioners in a report based on research and public input. Committee meetings are open to the public. If you would like to submit any public comment before a meeting, please submit it to Benton County Natural Areas, Parks and Events Director, Jesse Ott at  

Your Input Is Important

Thank you to those who provided public input about the future use of the historic courthouse. The committee received 323 community comment forms and will review all comments as part of their deliberation process. The committee is scheduled to finalize their recommendations at the March 15th, 2024 meeting. The meeting is open to the public.

More opportunities to participate will follow as the project progresses, so stay tuned to this page and read the fact sheet at the link below for more information about the committee’s work.

Committee Members

  • Peter Betjemann, OSU Director of Arts and Education, College of Liberal Arts
  • Christel Birdwell, Cultural Arts and Community Engagement Supervisor, City of Corvallis
  • Jessica Hougen, Benton County Historical Society Executive Director
  • Christopher Jacobs, Economic Development Manager, City of Corvallis
  • Peter Betjemann, OSU Director of Arts and Education, College of Liberal Arts
  • Roz Keeney, Representing Preservation WORKS
  • Scott McClure, At-Large, former member of the Historic Recourses Commission
  • Christina Rehklau, Executive Director, Visit Corvallis
  • Bob Richardson, Senior Land Use Planner, Oregon State University
  • Jill Van Buren, Benton County Courthouse Preservation Committee, HCAC Vice-Chair
  • Chris Westfall, Trial Court Administrator, Oregon Judicial Department, HCAC Chair
  • Christy Wood, CEO/President, Corvallis Chamber

Advisory/Support Staff

  • Commissioner Nancy Wyse, Benton County Board of Commissioners
  • Cory Grogan, Public Information Officer, Benton County
  • Paul Wallsinger, Facilities Manager, Benton County
  • Inga Williams, Community Development Associate Planner, Benton County
  • Erica Ceder, Senior Associate, DLR Group
  • Brenda Downum, Communications and Community Engagement, Downum Consulting

History of the Courthouse

Learn more about the history of the Benton County Courthouse on the Committee CPC History – Benton County Public Works, Oregon ( page.

Supporting Documents

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