Moscow City Hall 100 Years

Moscow City Hall Lecture Series

In 2011, the City of Moscow Arts Department and Historic Preservation Commission created a lecture series in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the building now serving as Moscow's City Hall. This series featured local professionals who shared their knowledge regarding the history and features of the building and its role in the community throughout the past 100 years. The lecture series was supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based Program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Construction on the building currently serving as City Hall began in 1909 and was completed in 1911. The building, which formerly served as the Moscow Post Office and Courthouse, has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1973. The lecture series was intended to stimulate local and regional interest in the craftsmanship and political-will that contributed to the construction, preservation, and reinvention of the building we enjoy today. The speakers focused on events, trends, and struggles that have defined Moscow as a community, and continue to enrich residents' quality of life.

Lecture 1 by Linda Pall

On May 24, 2011, Linda Pall presented “From Old Post Office to City Hall: An Exercise in Civic Rescue Through Politics and Historic Preservation.” Pall was a local attorney specializing in employment law, civil rights, and family law. She also served as a Moscow City Council Member for 18 years.

Lecture 2 by Nels Reese

On May 31, 2011, D. Nels Reese provided a lecture entitled “Building a National Image for the American Democracy: The History of the Architecture of City Hall, its Architect, James Knox Taylor, and Relationship to Historic Federal Buildings Across the Nation.” Reese is an Associate Professor Emeritus at University of Idaho, having taught architecture, urban planning, and design for more than 20 years. He is also a current and past member of several local and state boards and commissions related to planning and historic preservation.

Lecture 3 by Keith Petersen

On June 7, 2011 Keith Petersen, State Historian/Associate Director for the Idaho State Historical Society, presented, "Psychiana: The World's Largest Mail Order Religion and a Small Town Post Office." Peterson discussed the history of Frank Bruce Robinson, a Moscow resident who founded Psychiana in the 1930's which went on to become what is recognized as possibly the world’s largest mail order religion. Additionally, Petersen arranged special guest Alfred Robinson (Frank Robinson's son) to join the lecture.