Historic preservation is alive and well in Salem, Oregon. The City of Salem's Historic Preservation Officer and Staff Archaeologist Kimberli Fitzgerald joined us to tell us about current and future projects going on all around us.
The Historic Landmarks Commission (HLC) recently reviewed several proposals for alterations and new construction in our Downtown Salem Historic District. One that many of us are following is the project at 120 Commercial Street NE, formerly the Spaghetti Warehouse restaurant and Alessandro's before that. Back in 1867, this was the site of Durbin Bros. Livery & Barn, as shown in the photograph above, followed by Minto & Lowe Livery in 1888, a hardware and stove shop in 1890, YMCA Rooms in 1895, and an electric painting company and photo shop in 1926. [For a photo history of the building, click here.] Current plans call for a restaurant on the ground floor with other uses on the upper floor. To read the entire staff report, click here.
Although the marble and wood storefront was not original to the building, it has become a significant defining element that is certainly worth restoring. We applaud the current owners for being such responsible stewards of this lovely building that has been such a part of our downtown landscape. You can check out the HLC decision here.
Kimberli mentioned that other projects were also underway. The demolition of the Marion Car Park, designed in 1950. by Pietro Belluschi (who also designed the First Interstate/Wells Fargo Bank Building and the Marion County Courthouse) has been completed. Although this structure signifies the impact of the automobile to the Salem area, its previous history as the site of the Holman Building has more attraction to most of us Salemites.
The Holman Building was the site of the Oregon legislature from 1855 to 1875 while the second Capitol Building was being constructed. The new owners are tentatively planning to name their new boutique hotel the Holman Riverfront Hotel, after its former namesake. For more information, check out the HLC decision here.