December 4, 2022

Charlie Doodle

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Architect, artist Cy Stadsvold dies at 89 | Local

4 min read

Cy Stadsvold, a noted Corvallis architect, artist, arts patron and community volunteer, has died at the age of 89.

Stadsvold worked on a wide range of projects, both in the mid-valley and throughout the state, including the 1977 renovations of the Benton County Courthouse, the Town & Country Real Estate building, the Grace Lutheran Church and the Grant Street Baptist Church.

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As a painter and patron of the arts he participated in the Art in the Valley cooperative gallery, served on the board of The Arts Center and was honored for his patronage of the arts in the 2000 Celebrate Corvallis awards.

Cynthia Spencer-Hadlock, executive director of The Arts Center in Corvallis, recalled Stadsvold as an arts patron who always pitched in.

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“As I headed to his memorial last week, I remembered Cy being at many arts events and rued the fact he’s been absent for some time recently,” Spencer-Hadlock. “He and (wife) Cynara continued to be loyal financial contributors to The Arts Center over the years.”

“I remember Cy vividly and enjoyed working with him,” said Hester Coucke, curator of The Arts Center. “He was never ‘just a member’ but always willing to be an officer.”

Coucke also recalled an Arts Center exhibit that touched on Stadsvolvd’s imaginative style as well as his interest in architecture and art.

“One year we had an exhibit about Oregon architects that he curated,” Coucke said. “We decided, and he was a proponent of this, to have a lively, non-traditional presentation. We pinned work drawings on the wall, next to more formally framed presentation drawings. We had metal, industrial-looking easels with architecture plans. It was informal, and even a little messy, just as Cy’s own office was.

“It was a warm space where there were gems hiding everywhere. Not only about architecture, but also the prints that Cy collected, and of course his watercolors.”

“Sorry to hear about Cy,” said Lori Stephens of Broadleaf Architecture in Corvallis. “He was the go-to architect in town for many, many years.”

Midwest beginnings

Cy Stadsvold was born in Minnesota, educated mainly in North Dakota, married Cynara Remboldt in 1957 and moved to Corvallis in 1962.

“They moved here to escape the harsh North Dakota weather,” daughter Cynthia Wahrmund said. “Dad had been to the Seattle World’s Fair earlier in the year and really liked the Pacific Northwest. He had multiple job offers, but they chose Corvallis because it seemed like, and was, a great place to raise a family.”

Wahrmund noted that Stadsvold had a strong interest in “liturgical architecture” and that he would visit various places of worship in his travels. In addition to his work on the two Corvallis churches noted above, Stadsvold also worked on a large addition to Peace Lutheran in Philomath.

In the fall of 1976 Stadsvold was retained to work on renovations and restoration of the Benton County Courthouse. Although most of the work focused on the interiors, Stadsvold also added the flag tower at the top of the building.

According to Wahrmud, her father also worked on the basement, and the employee area and library spaces on the fourth floor/attic.

“Prior to the renovation there had been attempts to ‘modernize’ the building with dropped acoustical ceilings and covering up the architectural details,” she said. “He was able to bring back the original character while making it functional.”

Throughout his working life, Stadsvold also created art — watercolors, oils and lithographs. Wahrmund said he was particularly fond of painting landscapes.

One of his paintings is in the permanent “Art About Agriculture” collection at Oregon State University, where he taught art on a part-time basis for 27 years.

“He also promoted art in general,” Wahrmund said, while also becoming known for his hand-painted Christmas ornaments..

“He was also fun loving and had a great sense of humor.”

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