SHINE on Salem 150, celebrating the sesquicentennial of our city's 1860 charter, continues (and concludes) with the 2012 entry.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Salem in 1974

World Events
  • Richard Nixon resigns, Gerald Ford becomes president and pardons Nixon.
  • OPEC oil rises from $4 to $12 a barrel; concern rises over nuclear energy.
  • Patty Hearst kidnapped; Muhammad Ali regains his boxing titles.
In Salem

Mill Race Plaza with SAIF building in background
The cannery industry continued to shrink. The Salem Fruit Union plant is razed for part of the urban renewal project. Photographs of 1974 show construction of buildings being completed and large landscaping projects underway. The open, raw acres are dotted with thin new trees and concrete blocks mark the edges of new paths for the waterways flowing through the city. In 1974, Salem is a city that is changing its image to become more welcoming to the visitor and provide more amenities for the residents, but it is losing a vital factor in its economy by the demise of its canning industry.

When you visit
Today it is hard to remember that for much of Salem's history there was a railroad track in the center of Trade Street. And it now seems natural that Trade Street takes a curve southward into Pringle Parkway and onto Bellevue, traveling east between the expanded Willamette University campus to the left, Shelton Ditch and the Salem Hospital to your right. At 12th Street, we meet the natural barrier that our Southern Pacific railroad tracks have made. Turning north, Mill Street is on our right with Mission Mill Museum and the historic SESNA neighborhood. Turning south on 12th Street, we are just a block away from a left turn over an overpass taking us, without railroad interruption, to Mission Street and the I-5 corridor.  Ignoring the overpass, one more block south on 12th Street will take us to Deepwood Estate and its gardens. This contemporary thoroughfare, creating in the 1970s, gives contemporary traffic easy access to important cultural features of our city. This 1970s restructuring of Trade Street and the new uses of land south of Pringle Creek and Shelton Ditch continue to have a positive effect on downtown traffic and adjoining land uses.

Other Events
  • Cars wait in long lines for gas at local stations. The Capitol is the scene of protests concerning the gas shortage.
  • Politics is in the news this campaign year: Robert Straub, a candidate for governor of Oregon (he wins in November) has a booth at the state fair in August; Bob Packwood (already elected) congratulates a Baker City student for winning the Centennial Essay and Art Contest during that city's celebration. Mayor Lindsey helps out the Salem Bike Club by posing by an old-fashioned penny-farthing bike while members of the club watch from their own bikes. Lindsey Towers, named for this mayor, is a high-rise, senior residential facility located at the intersection of Church and Trade streets.
Bush House Museum
  • Bush House Museum and historic structures on the Bush property are listed on the National Register this year. The majority of these acres were obtained by the city in 1946 by purchase from the Bush family just before Miss Sally's death. After this death of her brother, A. N. Bush, in 1953 the "homestead" was obtained. The Salem Art Association planned to make the house into a gallery and so held a "yard sale" to depose of furnishings (many of which have been returned or repurchased). At that time alterations were made in the upper floor of the Bush residence, but the house still qualified for the National Register. A volunteer committee, under direction of the SAA, regulates the public use and the events held in the house museum.
  • One more neighborhood organizes this year: Northeast Neighbors, known as NEN, stretching between Market and State streets. Urban development of the 1970s changed the Court and Chemeketa streets residential section of NEN east of 14th Street. In 1984, a federally funded street reversal project closed both streets with barriers at 13th Street, supplying a fourth boundary line. The homes on these streets were located in a natural progression from downtown, Willamette University and the Capitol. They have a unique physical presence with Mill Creek at the north and to the east, State Street on the south, and the railroad to the west. By 1986, resident historical research, led by Bonnie and Roger Hull, produced a nomination for the National Register that created the Court-Chemeketa National Historic Residential District. Other individually recognized National Register properties in NEN include the Lee Mission Cemetery on D Street, The Stratton House at 1599 States Street and the Samuel Adoph House at 2493 State Street. There are also 23 Local Landmarks and several more candidates whose history you may not know.  It is a tribute to the present owners of these NEN sites that all these properties are preserved so well.
 
  • Among the unofficially recognized sites in NEN is the Friends Meeting House at 490 19th Street, home successively of the Nazarene Church (1913-1931), the Foursquare Church (until 1950) and the Unitarian Universalists (until 1997).

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