Union County is named for the town of Union which was named for the “union of the states” during the American Civil War.
Created: September 22, 1862
La Grande / Union 1864 – 1904
La Grande 1905 – present
County Courthouse – La Grande
Location: 1008 K Street / 4th Street
Style: Modern / Art Deco
Architect: Tourtelotte and Philips
Contractor: Works Project Administration
Description: The building faces north and is a four story white colored concrete structure. The building was formerly the Saint Joseph Catholic Hospital and is named the Joseph Building. The main entrance is on the east side of the north front and projects from the main building. On the roof, there is a narrow square tower rising behind the entrance section which formerly had a cross at the top. Belt courses stretch the length of each floor, a representation of speed and efficiency, while windows continued this horizontal visual momentum around corners. A central bay contrasted with this horizontality by featuring strongly vertical lines. The main four-story block had an external ground floor corridor connecting it with another two-story hospital building. The roof line is flat. The building was a Works Project Administration project.
Note: The hospital group consisted of the hospital, convent, chapel, laundry and heater room; and additions were constructed. Exterior surfaces were given an ashlar effect by inserting wood strips in the plywood forms. When forms were removed, a brush coast of portland cement was applied. Into this, while still soft, was blasted fine granite sand to form an integral surfacing. Cost of project was $180,000 excluding land and equipment.
Note: The previous courthouse was designed by Calvin Thornton and constructed by S A Haworth in 1903 to 1904 as the City Hall. The building was razed in 1998. Thornton and Haworth also designed and constructed the courthouse in Wallowa County.
County Clerk’s Office – La Grande
Location: 1001 4th Street / J Avenue
Built: 1996 – 1997
Description: The building faces west and is a one story brick and concrete structure. The building is named the Chaplin Building. The main entrance on the west side has a semi-circular overhang supported by two columns. The north and south wings project from the main building. The roof line is flat.
E – Wallowa County
W – Umatilla County
Photos taken 2012