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Charles H. Burggraf

Charles H. Burggraf, Architect [1866-1942]

Charles H. Burggraf [†] was born in 1866 in Centralia, Marion County, Illinois to Mr. and Mrs. J.G. Burggraf, natives of Germany. Charles' father, J.G. Burggraf, was an architect and builder, and a pioneer of Illinois. In 1884, Charles moved to Hastings, Nebraska with his family and attended Hastings College, studying surveying, engineering, drawing, and architecture. After college, Charles began his career in his father's architectural office where he practiced in his father's firm from 1888 to 1889. In 1888, Burggraf married Mattie Adams, a native of Iowa. Adams' is described as a "highly educated and cultivated lady" in a biographical account of Burggraf (Hines, p. 991).

Burggraf moved to Grand Junction, Colorado in 1890 to practice architecture, specializing in public-school and church buildings throughout the state. His tenure in Colorado was short lived and in 1891, Burggraf moved to Salem, Oregon (his father also moved to Oregon at that time). Burggraf practiced in Salem until 1899 before moving to the neighboring community of Albany. His practice remained in Albany (office at one time was in the Albany Grand Opera House) until his retirement on July 28, 1933.

Burggraf was a prolific architect, responsible for designing many public and school buildings in Oregon and Washington. He designed county courthouses for Coos, Douglas, Gilliam, Lake, Lincoln, Linn, Sherman, Wheeler, and Tillamook counties in Oregon, and Garfield and Skamania counties in Washington. Burggraf also designed many public schools in Oregon including buildings in Albany, Ashland, Bandon, Carlton, Coquille, Corvallis, Cottage Grove, Dayton, Drain, Eugene, Fossil, Grants Pass, Jacksonville, Jefferson, Junction City, Klamath Falls, Lakeview, Medford, North Bend, North Yamhill, Roseburg, Salem, Springfield, and Union. He was also responsible for designing the Girl's Dormitory (Waldo Hall), and the Agricultural Hall on the Oregon Agricultural College (Oregon State University) and two buildings for the Eastern Oregon Experiment Station in Union, Oregon.

Plans at the Oregon State Archives (Salem, Oregon) indicate that Burggraf designed several hospital buildings from 1893 to 1909 including three structures at the Fairview Home for the Feebleminded, three at the Oregon State Hospital, and three at the Hospital Cottage Home. Burggraf designed several churches in the Willamette Valley including Baptist churches in Salem and McMinnville, Christian churches in McMinnville, Corvallis, and Albany. Other buildings designed by Burggraf include the J.S. Cooper Block in Independence, the Polk County Bank in Monmouth, the Hall Association Block and Walter Tooze Block buildings in Woodburn, the St. Francis Hotel, the Catholic Convent in St. Paul. Knights of Pythias at Woodburn, the Albany Public Library in Albany, and the Keeley Institute Building in Salem.

Burggraf's residence in Salem, built in 1895, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. Other residences designed by Burggraf include the Alfred Dawson House in Albany, also listed in the National Register of Historic Places (1980), and the Howard Ashby-Frank Durbin House in Salem.

Burggraf died in 1942 and is buried at the City View Cemetery in Salem.

† Sally Donovan, Donovan Associates, Sherman County Courthouse, Sherman County, OR, nomination document, 1998, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.