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Salem's Old City Hall: Facts and Photos
 
Location: High and Chemeketa Streets, NE; presently used as a parking lot.
 
Architect: Walter D. Pugh, who designed the dome on the State Capitol which had been domeless from 1876 to 1893. He also designed the former Chemawa Indian School building, the state penitentiary, and the buildings at Oregon State University and University of Oregon.
 
Style: Described later as "High Victorian Gothic" with Romanesque rounded arches. Gothic points and Greek Ionian scroll work. The building used an estimated two million bricks.
 
Dates: Began building in 1893, completed in 1896. Demolished in 1972.
 
Why Demolished? Salem voters didn't want to pay the cost of saving the old city hall, preferring to build a new civic center. Ironically, Dr. Vern Miller, the former Salem mayor for whom the replacement city hall was later named, pushed for keeping the old city hall alive as a museum.
 
 
Drawing of Salem's City Hall, 1893-1972.
Drawing of Salem City Hall
1893-1972.
[ View Image ]
 
Demolition of Old City Hall, 1971.
Demolition of Old City Hall, 1971.
[ View Image ]
 
Old Salem City Hall, 1959.
The photo, taken in 1959, shows the old Salem City Hall. There is a 1950's Ford parked at the curb in front of the building. The building was of brick, three stories high and had a clock tower.
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Old Salem City Hall, 1971.
The old Salem City Hall was a brick building with arched windows, decorative trim, a clock tower on the northeast corner and steps leading to the main entrance on the second floor. This photo shows the south and east sides of the building at 277 Liberty Street, Salem on May 14, 1971.
[ View Image ]
 
Bibliography:
Statesman Journal newspaper, Monday, September 30, 1996, Life section

Drawing of Salem City Hall
1893-1972
Record No: SJ862
Location: Statesman Journal photo
Photographer: unknown
Salem City Hall
Copyright & Ownership: Statesman Journal photo
Photo Source: Salem Public Library

Record No: SJ1383
Location: Statesman Journal photo
Photographer: Cooper, Ron
Demolition of Old Salem City Hall
Copyright & Ownership: Statesman Journal photo
Photo Source: Salem Public Library

Record No: 1083
Location: SMUN.1.12
Photographer: Ben Maxwell
Brief Description: city hall; building
Copyright & Ownership: Copyright Salem Public Library
Photo Source: Salem Public Library

 
 
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