One of the nice things about being a Realtor in Baker City is coming into contact with historic commercial properties that have such amazing stories behind them. We are currently marketing a building at 1901 Main Street in Baker that has such a history, as well as a bright future.
This building is special for other reasons: It has served most recently as a local events center, hosting town hall meetings, dances, Baker Orchestra concerts, fundraisers, holiday celebrations, company parties, Eastern Oregon Theater productions, art shows and exhibits, weddings, parties and more.
Sigmund Heilner, a pioneer Jewish merchant in Oregon, constructed the building in 1874. An immigrant from Bavaria, Heilner commanded an expedition that supplied guns to volunteers fighting an Oregon Indian War in 1856. He was involved in insurance, mining, hides, grain, wool and established the first bank and telephone system in Baker. As his business kept growing, so did the building, which encompassed not only a hotel, but a brothel of great reputation. The building still shows where a basement corner entrance (now filled in) accommodated discrete gentlemen.
The Heilner building has always been at the center of action downtown, at the intersection of Main and Court streets. Every parade, festival and rally that happens in Baker, happens in front of this building. It is a superb location!
The current owner renovated the building in 2012, bringing it up to modern codes, refinishing the first level wood floors, updating its utilities and installing a new roof. The basement, first floor and second floors are each 5,000 square feet and there’s a beautiful mezzanine above the main floor. An architect who specializes in renovating historic buildings guided the work.
- The main floor has two public bathrooms, three walk-in sidewalk display windows, an office with a huge walk-in safe, a large catering/break room, a utility room an electric closet.
- The building has two public entrances from the sidewalk and one alley entrance.
- The mezzanine has two bathrooms, an office, a dressing room and a conference room and two stairways to the mezzanine.
- The basement has one bathroom, three storage rooms and a large main room, a maintenance/shop area and one stairwell to the main floor.
- The second floor is mostly unused and has not been renovated, but it is clean and in good shape. It is wired and plumbed and ready to be hooked up for something. The top floor entrance is reachable from an exterior stairway from the street.
- The catering/break room is not a commercial kitchen but could be converted to one. For now, caterers bring their food in and use the room for preparation and serving.
The Heilner Building has lots of exciting possibilities and is priced incredibly well at $245,000. While the building no longer has dwellings, the city will permit living spaces to be constructed so it could have lofts, a hotel or up to 10 bed and breakfast rooms, most of which would have views of the downtown and/or mountains. The roof could also accommodate a “roof garden” for events.
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Realtors have a vested interest in the well-being of a community, both sociall and economically. A thriving town means more business, more jobs, more local investment and more development and buying/selling of real estate.
Below is a recent news article published in the Baker City Herald that shows the great involvement of the Baker County Board of Realtors in a local giving program. As a member of the board, we at Baker City Realty are proud to support these projects. They include capital investments, as well as events. See this page for a more complete list of charitable projects Baker City Realty also supports.
The Baker County Board of Realtors has announced the recipients of the Board’s 2013-2014 Community Giving Program. This program seeks local projects, families in need, or organizations to assist and give support.
Recipients of the program were: the Baker County Fair, Jean Main Benefit, Rhea Bunch BHS Rodeo Team Memorial, Dr. Jon Schott Honduras Medical Mission, Northeast Oregon Compassion Center, The Leo Adler Museum, CADA, YMCA, Geiser-Pollman Park Playground Improvement Project, and Baker High School Drug-Free Senior Party.
According to a press release, “The Board of Realtors is grateful for opportunities to serve our community in these meaningful ways.”
For more information on the Board’s Community Giving Program, contact the Baker County Hoard of Realtors, in care of Nelson Real Estate, 845 Campbell St., Baker City, call 541-523-6485, or ask a Baker County Realtor about the program.