Historic Hood River
Albert Sutton, Architect
Prominent architect Albert Sutton is a subject of this year’s “Timewinder Tales” (live show this weekend, details below!) He designed several buildings in Hood River, including the Hood River County Library and “Cap” McCan’s house in Tucker Road. This 1997 view by Sally Donovan shows the interior staircase, and important architectural detail of our library building. Sally took this photograph as part of her inventory of city landmarks. Just a few years later the library underwent a major expansion. While this staircase still exists, this image shows it as the architect originally intended it (though I am not sure he placed the water fountain there).
Here’s a brief biography:
Albert Sutton (1866-1923) Born in British Columbia, Albert Sutton was an American raised in Oregon. He attended school in Portland before studying to be an architect at the University of California in Berkeley. He began his career designing buildings and bridges for the Southern Pacific Railroad before moving to Tacoma. Launching a business with partner James Pickles, they designed commercial buildings and a hotel between 1888-1890. He moved to San Francisco in 1901 and formed a new partnership with Charles Weeks that lasted over 10 years, A messy divorce and custody battle ultimately led to his residing in Hood River where he designed several key buildings and homes. Sutton’s biggest impact in Hood River is as designer of the original Hood River Library. In 1916 he returned to Portland and then back to Tacoma, establishing the office of Sutton and Whitney. Albert Sutton is a name that is known in architectural circles, but because his name is not on many of his buildings, you may not be aware of his influence.
You can learn about Albert Sutton and several other Hood Riverites by attending this year’s Timewinder Tales. Here are all the details:
The History Museum of Hood River County presents Timewinder Tales, a live theatrical production at the Museum. This is the newest version of The History Museum’s long-time Cemetery Tales annual production, in which local actors portray interesting people from our past, as a way to educate, entertain and share our rich history with the community. This year characters and stories will be related to the theme of built environments and architecture. The performance will include stories by Yakama elder Galen Yallup, and portrayals of Albert Sutton, a famed architect who left his mark on Hood River, Mona Bell Hill and Elsie “Babe” Tenney, two interesting and colorful women who lived in the Gorge and had connections to the people and buildings here.
Performances of Timewinder Tales will be September 22, 23, 29 & 30 at 7pm, plus a Sunday matinee performance on September 24 at 2pm, at The History Museum, located at 300 E. Port Marina Drive in Hood River. Tickets are on sale at the museum’s website: www.hoodriverhistorymuseum.org/timewinder-tales/ or in person at the museum. Tickets are $20 per person. Refreshments will be available, including beer and wine for sale. Doors will open 30 minutes prior to the performance time. If you want to dive further into the Timewinder experience, you are welcome to wear clothing from another era, or just add a splash of history with a vintage item! For more information, email email@example.com or call 541-386-6772.