Whether you call it the Gichell Building or the Waldron Drug Store Building, what to do with that masonry structure on the wrong side of the railroad tracks has been an issue in front of The Dalles City Council for decades. It was the sole subject of a work session by the city council last night. It is one of the oldest buildings in town and was built during the Civil War. At one time, the city’s post office was located in part of the building, but there hasn’t been an operating business there in more than half a century. The last uses were as a temporary haunted house more than 40 years ago. The city bought the building in 1978 as part of a deal with Union Pacific Railroad to move tracks along First Street further to the north. Last year, following years of efforts to find a way to restore the building in place or to move it, council members voted to demolish the building. The group Friends of the Waldron Building was formed in opposition and they have recently been joined by The Dalles Main Street. During public input, 14 people aired their positions. Here’s a sampling
Ultimately,a divided council agreed to wait six months before sending out an RFP for demolition of the building to see if the groups can come up with a viable plan to save the building.