The Dalles Civic Auditorium's iconic structure was built in the Neoclassical Revival Style for the grand sum of $125,000. The Civic was dedicated to the Veterans of World War I, and later, to honor all veterans. A ballroom with a floating dance floor, gymnasium with a basketball court, the Fireside Room and Theatre, with some of the best acoustics in Oregon.
The building continued to be maintained to serve the community and honor veterans. In the 1950's the auditorium was converted into a movie theatre complete with a projection room, an outside ticket booth and concession section in the lower lobby.
Heavy use took a toll. Ownership and responsibility for the Civic varied, and maintenance was sometimes deferred. Parts of the building were condemned for safety reasons. Demolition loomed.
The Civic was listed as a historical landmark in the National Register of Historic Places.
An intrepid group of generous, energetic and creative volunteers stepped forward. Ownership transferred (for one dollar!) to the newly formed Civic Auditorium Historic Preservation Committee, and 501(c)3 nonprofit charitable organization. Renovation and preservation began. There was so much to do to save The Civic!
The early work was funded through flea markets, special events, small donations, grants, and thousands of volunteer hours. Through the years further renovation and preservation has been accomplished by businesses that donated work, large donations form private citizens, monetary help from Urban Renewal and an Oregon Lottery grant.
Work completed thus far; repaired holes in floors, replaced inadequate bathrooms, installed elevator, remodeled entry lobby, updated gymnasium into the Community room, painted and restored Fireside room, replaced broken or missing ornate lights and windows, updated serving area between the Community room and the Fireside room.
With The Civic closed for COVID lockdown, much more interior work has been completed using funding from the Oregon Lottery and local donors; restored stage floor with refinishing the original wood, and continuing to add fresh coats of paint.
To be completed - interior; install new stage curtain, install balcony seats, update fire suppression system, update auditorium sound and lighting systems.
To be completed- exterior, power wash the entire building, recaulk all exterior windows, paint all wooden surfaces/doors, wherever necessary; repair brick/cement areas and the list goes on.
Your help in preserving and upgrading the paint, windows, and walls will protect the building from the elements for years to come.