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First Presbyterian Church, Lebanon, OR

March 6, 2016


The Presbyterian church in Lebanon, Oregon is one of several regional churches of remarkably similar configuration. Willard F. Tobey is the architect associated with most, if not all, of them. Yet, as I’ve noted before, architectural history is as imprecise an activity as is architectural practice. In this case another Oregon architect, John V. Bennes, is also linked with some of them, perhaps a reference repeated from a National Register nomination. Attributions in NR registrations are often read as gospel, however, taking on lives of their own, and unlikely to be corrected.* Until this is clarified, I am using Tobey as the designer-architect of record.


*The attribution of a William Halsey Wood-designed residence in Pueblo, Colorado is given as William Halsey Ward, perhaps a misreading of his name from early newspaper coverage or local lore. Yet NR nominations are not capable, apparently, of being altered once they have been entered into the system. So “Ward” it is likely to stay for the time being.

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