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Balsiger 'Ford' Building - Klamath Falls, OR
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member thebeav69
N 42° 13.706 W 121° 46.638
10T E 600898 N 4675863
Quick Description: This former Ford dealership building now sits vacant and in dire need of repair and resides at the junction of Main and Esplanade in Klamath Falls, OR.
Location: Oregon, United States
Date Posted: 2/24/2014 6:03:56 PM
Waymark Code: WMK7MX
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member bluesnote
Views: 1

Long Description:
The Balsiger 'Ford' building is the only flatiron in Klamath Falls. This building has seen better days and has suffered from an earthquake in 1993, and more recently, a caved in roof from a hard winter a few years ago. This building is known locally as the 'Egyptian Building' because of the Egyptian artwork that makes up the front corner of the building and contains colorful Egyptian figures, along with the Ford logo at the top.

The building was most recently used as an event center to host local functions until the roof caved in during a bitter 2008 winter storm and the owner later closed it because of safety and money issues. The building now sits empty and on a lonely block in downtown Klamath Falls.

What very few locals know is that this location was once home to another flatiron building known as the White Pelican Hotel. It was a very nice four-story structure (I've uploaded a picture of it) and was a popular hotel in Klamath until it burned down in a fire on Oct. 16, 1926. The Balsiger Building was built and opened four years later in 1930 by Elmer Balsiger to house his Ford dealership. The dealership moved out of this building in 1995 and the building then became home to Cell Tech, a blue-green algae health food company that made millions in the mid-to-late 1990s dredging locally grown algae out of nearby Klamath Lake and manufacturing health food pills and other supplements to the public. The company went bankrupt after a bitter divorce/feud between the married owners sometime after 2000.

The city eagerly wants to renovate this building and hopefully attract a new business to take over but the stagnant economy has hampered that process.

The following words come from the former editor, Steve Miller, of the local Herald and News newspaper:

There’s also a local appreciation for the fact that the Balsiger Building’s architecture is unique. It was recognized by the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art “as one of the finest examples of Egyptian Revival architecture in the United States,” according to the Klamath County Museum. How many prominent intersections in Eastern Oregon’s cow country can boast a nationally recognized landmark with an Egyptian motif — with or without a cratered-in center?

Date of construction.: 1/1/1930

Current use of the building.: None

Web Address: Not listed

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