|October's demolition of a Belluschi clinic|
Talk about the North Campus of the State Hospital has suggested that there's a much stronger appetite to protect Edgar Lazarus' "Dome Building" than Belluschi's Breitenbush Hall or any of the other buildings.
News that Gannett is looking to sell the Statesman-Journal building and relocate the paper's offices puts that building's future in question.
|Pietro Belluschi's 1946-8 First National Bank:|
Approved for demolition in 2008, it's up for a permit again
Nearly half of Belluschi's Salem body of work is in question right now.
Readers have shared that earlier this month, developers filed for an extension of the 2008 demolition permit for the First National Bank Building.
Unaddressed in the notice is whether changes in design would require a reassessment.
The City doesn't have the decisions from before 2009 posted to the Historic Landmarks Commission site, so a good bit here is conjectural and unconfirmed.
|Revived concept for Old City Hall site: High & Chemeketa,|
which would have included the Belluschi Bank lot (far right)
It would also appear to involve the Arthur Moore Building (on left in above image).
If the propsal has been changed or scaled down, you'd think that would be relevant, and it would be good to know more about the project.
Kimberli Fitzgerald. The notice is dated August 1st. Two weeks seems like an awfully compressed period for the demolition of a designated historic resource. This is another example of the way this "heritage all-star" city talks preservation but doesn't walk the talk very well. It's easier to stop vinyl windows than a demolition, and that doesn't seem like the right balance.
It is safe to say: The Belluschi Bank is in danger.
For context, here's Belluschi's body of work in Salem:
1. Willamette University Library/ Smullin Hall, 900 State St., 1938
2. Willamette University Science Building, 1941
3. Willamette University Baxter Complex, 1943
4. Willamette University Doney Hall, 1948
5. Oregon Statesman Printing Plant, 280 Church St. NE, 1944, at risk
6. Oregon State Hospital, Breitenbush Hall, 2600 Center St. NE, 1945-50, at risk
8. First National Bank of Portland, 280 Liberty St. NE, 1947, at risk
9. YWCA Building, 768 State St., 1946-52
10. Marion County Courthouse, 100 High St. NE, 1950
We are, in fact, looking at losing 2/3 of the buildings not at Willamette.
If the clinic had not already been demolished, and if the Statesman plant and Breitenbush Hall weren't also at risk, it might be easier to accept the loss of the bank. I don't happen to think the bank greets the sidewalk in a friendly way, and without windows and with the dark marble, I find it cold and aloof. It doesn't really fit into a walkable, vibrant urban fabric. And I badly want the surface parking lots downtown to be redeveloped with mid-rise, street-car scaled mixed-use buildings.
But in the context of these other losses, actual and probable, there is good reason to resist the demolition. We are losing what is a real body of work, not just a one-off building by a distinguished designer.
|Industry: Logging and Timber|
|Building 60 creatively altered and reused at State Hospital|
This decision needs more time, debate, and information.
(For more on the Salem buildings of Pietro Belluschi, see posts here.)
|From the approval of an extension for demolition|