Much more could be written about it and its place in our urban history and urban fabric. The building dates from 1889 and is associated with builder/designer Wilbur Boothby. By marriage the Greenbaum family was related to early brewer Sam Adolph, owner of the Adolph Block, where Wild Pear is located. The quilt is ornate and has many pieces!
|SE Corner of Chemeketa and Commercial, then and now|
Then: Eldridge Block circa 1940, Salem Library
Inset, today: Chemeketa Parkade
(Click to enlarge)
The last section of the Eldridge block can be seen in this photo circa 1940. It extended all the way from Greenbaum's to the corner. Two of the central stairs also had towers over them. (The seven-window unit with the tower on the right side, the south end, is the only part that remains.)
Today most of the building's former footprint is the Chemeketa Parkade. Before that garage was completed in 1978, a department store wanted it for a surface lot.
The Downtown Historic District National Register Nomination (big pdf) has the story, and it's also related to a sale and transition:
In 1943, Adolph Greenbaum and Ed Rostein sold this building [Greenbaum's] to Roy Lockenour. Adolph rented space from Lockenour with the understanding that Adolph would have the first chance to buy the building if Lockenour decided to sell it. Adolph died in 1960 while on a hiking trip in Olympic National Park in Washington. His sister, Irene Depenbrock, then took over Greenbaum's Fine Fabrics. Irene's husband, Albert Depenbrock, eventually joined his wife in the Greenbaum business.So here we are again.
A few years later, Roy Lockenour told Albert Depenbrock that Lipman's department store wanted to buy the building and that they had agreed on a price, but he was honoring his earlier agreement with the deceased Adolph Greebaum and offered it to the Depenbrocks first. Albert took his time before telling Irene about this, not realizing that Lipman's intended to replace the building with an enlarged parking lot. After hearing this, Irene Depenbrock immediately went to the bank and successfully obtained financing. She then called Roy Lockenour, who was in a meeting with Lipman's. On December 9, 1966, he sold the building to Albert and Irene Depenbrock, thus preserving it for their future use.
The Depenbrocks' daughter, Sylvia, and her husband, Bill Dorney, bought the business on January 1, 1978. Bill and Sylvia worked together at Greenbaum's Fine Fabrics until 1985 when Bill left to become director of the Salem Downtown Association. Sylvia specialized the shop's merchandise further, changing the fabric store into a quilting fabric shop in 1988, known as "Greenbaum's Quilted Forest."
Succession transitions are often vulnerable moments in the history of buildings.
Cheers to the Dorneys for retaining the building and keeping a business that's been going for over a century.
And cheers to the prospect of new owners who will have both an interest in quilting and an interest in historic buildings.
In the meantime, we're still talking about knocking down historic buildings for parking lots!
Howard Hall comes up on Monday at Council, and there will be more to say then. The Hospital has for many people successfully framed the matter as adaptive playground v. derelict building. Just today there's an LTE in which the writer says, "Why would we choose to keep a decaying building of no particular architectural appeal whose costs to repurpose are exorbitant over the needs of people who are often forgotten and overlooked?" It will require many voices to insist that the matter instead is parking lot v. historic building.
(There are more documents posted to the City Howard Hall site, including a legal opinion of "no big deal" on the Mayor's possible conflict of interest, a petition from area pediatricians, and more from the Hospital itself.)