Port Townsend City Hall – Port Townsend, Washington - Atlas Obscura
Unusual adventures and hidden discoveries. Explore our 2018 trips now »

Port Townsend, Washington

Port Townsend City Hall

City Council meetings still happen in his historic building, impeccably preserved on the inside. 

Some historic buildings are mere shadows of their former selves. Other historic buildings are kept in utterly pristine condition as an homage to the original architect. The historic City Hall building in Port Townsend, Washington, is a fascinating mixture of these two.

Originally a very imposing and distinctive building composed of sandstone and red brick with tall eaves and gables with a bell tower, years of decay had their way with the top floor and roof of this building. In the late 1940s, teams had to demolish the top section of the building. The existing exterior has been reappropriated from the outside of a more run of the mill building.

But the inside still shines. The wood paneling in the building has been meticulously redone in certain spots, trying to keep the original feel of building as much as possible. The carpets and decorations have been redone similarly with the intention of keeping the building true to its original form.

Actual civic use of the building ceased years ago, leaving this gorgeous building to serve as a museum to the local Jefferson County Historical Society. There is one exception: City Council meetings still happen in the Council Chambers, as they have since 1892.