Across the street from Courthouse Square and the transit mall is another building related to transportation and funded by bikes. While part of its history is sad, it also represents a mixed-use development that points the way to 21st century redevelopment.
Son of Oregon Supreme Court Chief Justice Frank A. Moore, Arthur H. Moore finished the building in 1924 and moved his bike shop into it. He planned it with apartments above.
|Arthur H. Moore Building on High Street|
|Frank A. Moore|
Oregon Supreme Court
The Moore family moved to Salem in 1892 when father Frank A. Moore was elected a Justice on the Oregon Supreme Court.
They appear to have lived on Oak Street in the neighborhood between Winter and 12th Streets where now is the hospital complex.
In 1904 son Frank J. Moore opened a bike shop. Relative to the advertising of Watt Shipp and Otto J. Wilson, Moore initially had a small and modest business.
|Early Frank J. Moore Ad, July 1904|
|Later Frank J. Moore Ad, April 1910|
Sadly, a couple of years later while on his motorcycle Moore was in a a crash with an automobile. While his injuries didn't seem mortal at first, an infection caused gangrene and small wounds became fatal. He died on September 26th, 1912, and is buried in the Pioneer Cemetery.
|Frank J. Moore Obituary, Sept 27th 1912|
The store at the time was located at 447 Court Street. That building has since been demolished and replaced by a mid-century brick structure on the alley.
Initially it seems Arthur did not intend to take over the bike business, but in the end he did.
Frank J.'s widow, Nellie, died herself not six months after Frank passed away. It was likely that Arthur had to arrange to sell the business or take it over formally.
|Arthur H. Moore Ad, 1915|
Outrunning the Law!
Arthur went on to be a significant figure in Salem politics and life, serving on City Council and other boards and commissions.
|Arthur Moore Obituary, May 3, 1949|
Arthur Moore is buried in City View Cemetery, not too terribly far from his brother in the Pioneer Cemetery.
The building remains and still has apartments upstairs and Ranch Records and a payday loan business at street level.
As with the just-announced renovation of the McGilchrist block, the two-story storefronts in downtown are a relatively easy and incremental way to improve vitality and activity in downtown Salem. While mid-rise new construction might get more of the headlines and attention, the existing stock of two-story commercial buildings is an incredible resource, and deserves more investment.
So next time you pass by the Moore block, tip your cap to brothers Frank J. and Arthur H., and the small but important ways bikes helped build Salem.