Port Townsend City Hall – Port Townsend, Washington - Atlas Obscura

Port Townsend City Hall

City Council meetings still happen in this historic building, impeccably preserved on the inside. 


Some historic buildings are mere shadows of their former selves. Other historic buildings are kept in utterly pristine condition as an homage to the original architect. The historic City Hall building in Port Townsend, Washington, is a fascinating mixture of these two.

It was originally a very imposing and distinctive building composed of sandstone and red brick with tall eaves and gables with a bell tower, but years of decay had their way with the top floor and roof of this building. In the late 1940s, teams had to demolish the top section of the building. The existing exterior has been reappropriated to appear as a more run-of-the-mill building from the outside.

But the inside still shines. The wood paneling in the building has been meticulously redone in certain spots, trying to keep the original feel of the building as much as possible. The carpets and decorations have been redone similarly with the intention of keeping the building true to its original form.

Actual civic use of the building ceased years ago, leaving this gorgeous building to serve as a museum for the local Jefferson County Historical Society. There is one exception: City Council meetings still happen in the Council Chambers, as they have since 1892.

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November 29, 2010

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