Monday, June 30, 2014

History Bits: Pentacle Theatre, Cremains Memorial, McGilchrist Building, Virtues of Analog

Normally theater is an urban phenomenon, right? Think of Broadway and all that implies.

Transportation is erased and invisible
"Pentacle Theatre began its life in 1954 in a barn on Highway 22 across from the Oak Knoll Golf Course."

So why the heck is our theater built out in rural West Salem on a State Highway???

The Pentacle is as much a creation of Eisenhower-era autoism as is the Interstate System, and its dependence on cars and car subsidy likely as great (or greater) as its dependence on "passion, love and dedication"! Its location also robs downtown of an important source of creative, intellectual, and sidewalk life.

McGilchrist and Roth Building Renovations - Time Capsule?

Maybe there's a time capsule in the corner pier!

February 15, 1916
The renovations for the McGilchrist and Roth Buildings are nearing completion, and an eagle-eyed reader found an easter egg that might not even be known to the new owners of the building! From the paper in 1916:
In the corner pier of the McGilchrist building records were placed this morning which may in generations to come tell something of what was doing in Salem in February of the year 1916 Anno Domino....
Anyone know whether the construction work uncovered a capsule?

Cremains Memorial at State Hospital

Final construction on Cremains Memorial at the State Hospital
After a long and windy road, the Cremains Memorial at the State Hospital looks to be nearly done. Daniel Mihalyo, one of the architects, said over the weekend that a dedication ceremony was scheduled for Monday morning, July 7th.

(There doesn't seem to be a published official announcement, however.)

World War II Memorial

It broke!
The previous weekend at the World War II Memorial, the computer touch screen kiosk was already broken. "The remote name could not be resolved...retrying." If the lifetime of well-built stone can be measured in centuries, it seems optimistic to expect outdoor installations of computer technology to last years, let alone decades - whether from the elements or from hackers.

Analog has a place - not just for fans of vinyl and turntables! - and memorials for the dead is probably one of them. (How long will QR codes on gravestones be supported, really?) Technology is a wonderful thing, but I am dubious sometimes about certain instances of it.

Once both memorials are finished, including all the final details and punch-list items, it will be very interesting - and moving - to compare the two as public spaces and as monuments.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Oregonian just posted what you're looking for!

Dedication ceremony
What: Dedication of the Oregon State Hospital Cremains Memorial, to honor and hold the ashes of former patients of the hospital and other Oregon institutions who were cremated 1913-1971
When: 10 a.m. Monday, July 7
Where: Oregon State Hospital in Salem, 2600 Center St N.E. in Salem; go southwest of the Kirkbride Building on Recovery Drive.
Who: Speakers will include Senate President Peter Courtney and hospital Superintendent Greg Roberts.

Also more mystery: "Now, officials said this week, researchers don't think any of the urns are linked to the old Asylum Cemetery — and that the fate of the cemetery bodies, about 1,500 in all, is a mystery."