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Nov-11-2007 07:22printcomments

Salem's Capitol Center Celebrates 80th Birthday

On November 14th, the Capitol Center will celebrate its 80th birthday and the public is invited.

Photo Capitol Center courtesy: Roger Yost
Photo of Capitol Center courtesy: Roger Yost

(SALEM, Ore.) - The Capitol Center, at 388 State Street, was built by Thomas A. Livesley in 1927 to house the First National Bank, on whose board he served, It briefly was the tallest office building in all of Oregon, until the Pacific Power building was erected in 1928.

Livesley was Salem’s mayor at the time, and is remembered as one of the world’s leading grower of hops.

On November 14th, the Capitol Center will celebrate its 80th birthday, according to the building's owner, Roger Yost. The 80th birthday party for Salem’s only skyscraper will be held from 5:00 to 7:00 PM Wednesday on November 14th in the Bank of Cascades lobby on the first floor of the 11-story building.

Among other planned festivities, Yost will unveil a photography exhibit of Salem’s historic buildings during the event, to which the public is invited. Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served by Alessandro’s.


The pink Florentine sandstone building was described by the Salem Statesman as “earthquake proof . . . and absolutely fireproof.”

Yost says its principal tenants in 1927 were physicians, surgeons, dentists and optometrists.

Today the mix is largely attorneys and investment bankers.




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Ryan Thompson June 29, 2009 5:17 pm (Pacific time)

I've been told that during the construction the building, two of the workers got into an argument, and one either threw the other down an elevator shaft to his death, or killed him and then threw his body down it (the former is probably the more likely of the two). Has anyone else ever heard this?

Tim King: Very interesting Ryan, would love to know more but haven't specifically heard that one yet.


Anonymous November 11, 2007 2:02 pm (Pacific time)

Too bad since then we've really never built up. We're always building outwards because we love the sprawl.

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