According to Architects of Oregon, a biographical dictionary of Oregon architects working in the 19th and 20th Centuries by the late Richard Ritz, Krumbein was born and raised in Hamburg before emigrating to the United States in 1869. In addition to the United Workmen Temple, he also was a co-designer of the original state capitol building in Salem, Pioneer Hall at Linfield College, St. Vincent Hospital, the interiors for the New Market Theater, and a building for the Lewis & Clark Exposition.
Beyond the local significance of Krumbein, the United Workmen Temple (which is also sometimes known as the Tourny Apartments) is an ideally situated building for rehabilitation. Granted the office market has been very slow these last few years, and surely a 113-year-old building surely needs some work. But it’s very striking, with its Ionic columns on the upper floors and stately brick façade. Plus it’s ideally situated downtown at Southwest Second Avenue and Taylor Street.
Surely there’s some developer out there looking for a nice old building, or a company that wants a distinctive new home. If an giant cold storage warehouse can become the celebrated Wieden + Kennedy building, surely the Ancient Order of United Workmen Temple can find a new owner ready to take on restoration so as to gain a such a bold piece of local architecture.
The best historic preservation efforts get started long before a building is threatened with demolition. No one has yet reserved a wrecking ball for this building, but let’s not give them the opportunity.