Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Smith's Brick, not Nesmith Building, was Home of the WCTU Ramp Memorial Hall

In looking into the WCTU Ramp Memorial Hall, it was difficult to find references to the hall as inside the Nesmith Building, which had been the name, as I understood it, for the building.

Not the Nesmith Building, in 1955
(Salem Library Historic Photos)

It turned out there was a very good reason for the difficulty. 

This building has been misidentified in much of our current history. The attribution, that this building is the Nesmith Building, is everywhere. See for example the entry for 1862 in the SHINE historical digest. In the Salem online history (via the internet archive since all the historical essays seem to have been scrubbed from earlier this year) they said:

For the next twenty years [after the 1855 fire], which included the transition to Statehood in 1859, the Oregon Legislature convened in rented rooms in commercial buildings near the Salem riverfront. The primary locations were the Nesmith Building and the Holman Building located at the southwest and northwest corners, respectively, of the intersection of Commercial and Ferry streets. Neither building stands today.

There was a consensus this was the Nesmith Building, that various Legislative bodies had met there and it was a part of our Capitol history. In 2010 historians even installed an interpretive panel on the stairwell landing at the Conference Center overlooking Ferry and Commercial with photos and captions about the Nesmith and Holman buildings on the two corners. There was no real reason to question the source of that, it seemed very reliable, and there were plenty of other things to investigate in Salem history. 

Well, here we are. The WCTU Ramp Memorial Hall was an interesting thing to investigate.

There is, it turns out, a recent common source that is almost certainly the origin and main source for the error in our current histories of the Capitol and of Salem. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

The Mill offers Talks on WCTU and Jason Lee with Online Lecture Series

This is old news now, but it's good news and deserves more notice. The Mill's announced what looks like a terrific series of lectures, "Zooming Back to History," distributed by online video and $10 each.

Two of them given by Willamette University faculty are of particular interest here.

Mary Ramp via the Mill
and Brooks Historical Society

On October 20th, Leslie Dunlap will talk about the WCTU:

Into the 1980s, many historians and members of the public viewed participants in the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union as puritanical laughingstocks, driven by the “haunting fear that someone, somewhere may be happy” (in H.L. Mencken’s words). In the 1980s, historians recharacterized the WCTU, the largest political mobilization of women in the U.S. in the nineteenth century, as a “proto-feminist” organization whose efforts to prevent drinking segued into efforts to win the vote, reform rape law, and stop domestic violence. My research on temperance women reframes the question by focusing on race and women’s activism.

I find that instead of either “progressive” or “conservative,” the movement was a meeting ground, where African American, Native American, and white participants debated the purpose and direction of women’s political participation.

The Ramps: From Temperance to Anarchism

As it happens, perhaps keyed to the lecture series announcement, on FB the Mill reposted a 2012 piece on an important local advocate:

Mary Anne Hammer Ramp was born in 1829 in Kentucky. She married Samuel Ramp in 1849, and in 1853, they and their two small children left for the West along the Oregon Trail. They had another child during the journey. Initially settling in the Silverton Hills, the family saved and eventually purchased a farm on French Prairie just north of Brooks. By the time Samuel Ramp died in 1898, the family owned 11 farms in the Willamette Valley, which Mary continued to manage after Samuel’s death.

Even though she raised seven children, Mary Ramp took up the suffrage cause while also championing temperance. She gave Salem a home for the W.C.T.U (Women’s Christian Temperance Union), known as “Ramp Hall for the Promotion of Equal Suffrage and Temperance. Temperance was later changed to “National Prohibition.”

Mary Ramp was active in the early suffrage movement and she was an ardent prohibitionist. After her husband’s death, she moved to Salem, where she lived until she passed away in 1916 at the age of 86. She was survived by three children, 21 grandchildren and 28 great grandchildren.

There are so many interesting directions to go from here! Dunlap's talk may be more about the national or regional context of the WCTU, but here in Salem there is a history also of course.

The Ramp Memorial Hall was downtown where the Umpqua Bank is now, across from the Conference Center and former site of the Marion Car Park. It is interesting that the newspaper and post office, both of which had offices in the building, have associated pictures in our archives, but the building is not featured as the home of the WCTU in photos. We have postman Ben Taylor out in front multiple times, but never Mary Ramp. In the materials that have come to us, unsurprisingly there is a real bias towards masculine enterprises and the men who conducted them. But of course there is an important history of the WCTU, and as it is retrieved it will turn out to be more significant than our last-century's histories supposed.

Former WCTU Ramp Memorial Hall in 1955
(Salem Library Historic Photos)

Friday, September 25, 2020

City Council, September 28th - Costco

City Council convenes on Monday, and they will deliberate on the proposed Costco for the development on Kuebler near I-5.

There is a massive dossier on the project. To the litigants, of course, the minutia will seem necessary and useful, but it has also seemed like we have allocated a disproportionate amount of attention to this project and particularly to some parts of it, especially since the goal of critics is not to kill the project, but just to make it a little bit smaller.

  • On jobs and economic development: Amazon warehouse jobs pay much less than Costco jobs, yet so much firepower has been directed at this Costco project rather than the Amazon one.
  • On traffic impacts: The differences between a big strip mall and an even bigger box Costco do not, in the end, seem very significant, and these differences may being overstated by critics of the project.
  • On trees and siting the box: It is surprising how much the "NW Plan," which retains the Oak grove, has been resisted by the development team. It's a big box, and how is the disposition of the box on the site away from Kuebler so important? Give the neighbors the trees and move on.
  • On costly parking mandates: But our minimum parking requirements interfere here with tree preservation, and it is our parking requirements and cultural expectations for plentiful parking, not tree preservation goals, that should be adjusted. 
  • On fossil fuel infrastructure: Additionally, we should be permitting no new gas stations. Why are we building new gas stations?! They will be stranded assets very soon! Isn't this the biggest problem here?

Gov. Brown has signaled she will follow California

Anyway, others will have more to say and will be more informed about it. It just seems like we are missing the forest for some trees here.

Council will take no public comment and this is for deliberations only.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

We may Need more Neighborhood Hub Sites out of Our Salem

Back in 1927, just after Salem adopted its first zoning law, a puff piece, perhaps even advertorial, promoted new housing and development in "the so-called North Salem district," mainly in the area we call Highland now.

March 2nd, 1927

After a long wind-up, the writer says something we recognize in Our Salem and hope for the future:

One distinct advantage of the district is that commercially it is almost self sustaining. Practically every daily necessity may be bought with just a short walk instead of the long trip of 25 or more blocks to the main business section of the city. Whether it being a pound of meat for dinner or theater tickets for evening's entertainment you can get it in north Salem with little inconvenience.

Slightly different hub sites at different times

The piece references what we now call the old Hollywood, the "North Capitol commercial center...[at] Capitol street and Fairgrounds road." 

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Oregon Pulp and Paper Produced First Paper 100 Years Ago

100 years ago Oregon Pulp and Paper, whose facility became the Boise Cascade plant in the 1960s, started up on Pringle Creek at Commercial and Trade. It marked a significant transition from the flour mill to heavier industry (with an assist from old man Bush). With pride, the morning paper bragged about using its newsprint first.

Near the beginning, early or mid-1920s
Looking southwest from Sculpture Garden corner
(Salem Library Historic Photos)

Both papers had tracked it as organizers first petitioned to vacate Trade Street west of Commercial, a process that was contested and took a while in the spring of 1919. Oregon Pulp and Paper was formally incorporated at the beginning of summer in 1919, and construction started shortly thereafter.

March 11th, 1919

April 8th, 1919

A year later in the spring of 1920, both papers were running advertisements for a stock offering. They also wrote editorials promoting the stock for Salemites. There was no fuss or fiction about a hard line between editorial and advertising at this time.

Monday, September 21, 2020

City Council and Planning Commission, September 23th - Our Salem Vision and Plan

Council convenes on Wednesday the 24th in a Work Session jointly with the Planning Commission to consider the draft Vision and Plan coming out of Our Salem.

The draft Vision and Plan occasioned here some critique, and that elicited some counter-critique.

Oregon, too: Sunday the 13th in the LA Times

Over at Hinessight in a post rightly arguing the plan needed to center climate more, Planning Commissioner Michael Slater contested a couple of things:

[Conversion] of a significant quantity of commercial space to mixed use is a bigger deal than people recognize. In fact, creating mixed use space and more land-use flexibility (so that services and consumers are physically closer together) is the biggest GHG reduction tool in the land use policy toolkit. Unfortunately, the Breakfast on Bikes author did not recognize that point. He also skipped over the significant increase in multi-family zoning. As for converting from stroads to boulevards, I agree. What's missing from Breakfast on Bike's critique is that the city has approved and partially funded a plan to do just that in Commercial. It's called the Vista-Commercial Corridor project. It includes wide sidewalks, buffered bike lanes in both direction, a new signalized pedestrian crosswalk and a dedicated bike signal where Commercial and Liberty spilt.

The Value of Mixed-Use Zoning and Place in Larger Narrative

Since the value of mixed-use projects is so axiomatic for the breakfast blog, it did not seem necessary to say more about that and perhaps that was a mistake. In fact, there is not so much disagreement here really. 

In saying here that the draft proposal leaned too much on Commercial Street and Lancaster Drive, it wasn't also saying "don't do that." It was to say we should do more and that the mixed-use and upzoning should be distributed more widely, not confined so narrowly to the busiest of Salem streets. (We'll consider this in relation to the proposed R4 zoning in another post.)

That might be an artifact of the fact that there is a difficult politics here, and the rhetoric in the plan has to serve the politics as well as serve as an explanation of the plan.

One of the elements in the politics is that the way this plan is envisioned to flow into an HB 2001 compliance plan is totally elided. That is a necessary sequel, but in the world of the plan itself we are going to agnostic about it and pretend for the moment we don't know anything about it as a sequel.

So some of the criticism of the plan here is criticism of its silence on any HB 2001 compliance (a silence that always been overtly stated and never hidden it should be noted), and it might have been an error not to say more about that. The plan is presented as an end, but in fact it is only a moment, a big moment to be sure, but a moment in a still developing process and narrative, and I would like to have more explicit discussion of how it is envisioned to be a part of that larger picture of HB 2001 with middle housing and our forthcoming Climate Action Plan. The politics, alas, probably work against having this discussion formally. But without understanding the Vision and Plan's place in relation to those, we have to evaluate it in isolation, and it comes up short. And even if we have to take HB 2001 compliance off the table, we could wait for a Climate Action Plan.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Sidewalk Inventory at the MPO on Tuesday

The Policy Committee for our Metropolitan Planning Organization convenes on Tuesday the 22nd, and there might be just a few notes in passing. They have published this month a map of sidewalks and sidewalk projects on busier streets rated collector and larger.

Sidewalk Inventory

All of the MPO's maps are collected here, some of them current, some of them last updated within the last two or three years.

In the minutes to last month, there's a discussion of the safety trend data, and one note in it really should deserve greater pause and reflection.

Glimmers of understanding
on congestion, speed, and safety

If because of less congestion during the Pandemic there is more speeding and proportionately more crashes, what then is the relation between congestion and safety? There is sometimes, maybe often, a trade-off between congestion relief and safety, and we ought to give this more thought when we have prioritized congestion relief and higher speeds.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

City Council, September 21st - Police Reform

Council convenes on Monday for a Work Session on Police Reform, and it looks perhaps a little restricted, addressing part of the question, about "non-criminal" calls, but totally eliding questions about racial bias, about white supremacy and fascism, and about overmilitarized policing. Hopefully there will be more on those questions later.

Two visions of policing
Front page, Register-Guard, July 18th

Still, even with this more narrow set of questions, it looks on the surface like there is space for a CAHOOTS style program and for other non-armed response to non-criminal calls. So we may see some incremental improvement, if not full reform.

The School Resource Officer program is sure to be a central topic as well as the way we police unhoused people camping and loitering.

It will be interesting to see what informed critics of the Police have to say.

From the Staff Report:

The Salem Police Department is a full-service organization responsible for the safety and well-being of the entire community. The police department responds to a wide variety of community issues, including neighborhood nuisances, traffic enforcement, traffic accidents, welfare checks, suspicious activity, community events and criminal activity.

This work session is intended to discuss how we respond to non-criminal types of calls, options that would be advantageous for this community to have, and the resources necessary for that to occur.

In recent years, responses to calls commonly considered non-criminal in nature have increased dramatically. These include responding to people experiencing emotional distress, people unable to care for themselves due to drug or alcohol use or addiction, and individuals who, for a variety of reasons, have found themselves unsheltered and may be causing disruption or safety concerns as they attempt to find places to stay for a night. As these calls increase, less time is available to officers to establish a presence in neighborhoods and to address criminal activity.

When a community member calls for help, we respond. Sometimes we are the only organization available to respond to many of the non-criminal issues. In other communities, community service agencies may also respond in partnership with or as an alternative to law enforcement. In Salem, our partners do not have the capacity to respond as an alternative to a police response because of the volume of calls.

100 years ago, the Police used "disorderly conduct" charges against some dancing, and if Prohibition was the main driver, race was often also subtext.

September 14th, 1920
At NPR, critic Ann Powers said
The shimmy took America by storm in the 1910s and 1920s, helping to turn the staid choreography of ballroom traditions into something sexier and more vital. As historians like Rebecca A. Bryant have documented, the shimmy was an early example of white performers (most famously in this case, Mae West) claiming an African-American performance style without obviously parodying it, as they did in minstrelsy.

This should remind us that policing and our definitions of crime always exist in history and respond to that history and to changing culture. What we do now doesn't have to be what we do in the future.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Our Salem Vision and Draft Plan Relies too Much on Arterial Conversion to Mixed-Use

In order to "protect" existing single detached housing and "neighborhood character," the vision offered by Our Salem in the new draft plan concentrates too much on already busy arterial streets and does not do enough to leverage our system of smaller, minor arterials and collector streets.

The main place this is visible, seemingly the project's "one big idea," is in the way the project team took a "mixed use paint brush" to the major corridors of Commercial Street and Lancaster Drive and changed the color on the existing zoning outlines. This is not by itself a bad move, but because it is an isolated move, it looks like warehousing new projects on streets that are already busy, unpleasant, and polluted.

Focus on "major corridors"

(This key is not very helpful or clear
as information design)
This might seem like it is a move for walking and transit away from driving, but because it is in isolation it is very limited.

Even with mixed-use conversions, is this massive cross-section on South Commercial ever going to be friendly for walking?

Is Mixed-Use by itself going to help with this?

An important missing ingredient, then, is a boulevard conversion for Commercial and Lancaster. The proposed change from commercial to mixed-use zoning needs to be accompanied by a stroad-to-boulevard conversion in the streets. Otherwise they will still be oversized for autoist primacy and still very zoomy. Boulevard conversions also add medians for street trees and improve tree canopy. They prioritize local travel on the margins at calm speed and give through-travel the center.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Our Salem Releases Underwhelming Draft Plan - Updated

The City announced yesterday they had published a draft version of the Our Salem update to the Comprehensive Plan.

Existing (l) and proposed (r), side-by-side:
Not a lot of change

It is underwhelming, and at a high level appears to use the existing zoning outlines with minimal change and to swap in more mixed-use zoning for the commercial zoning along busy streets like Commercial Street and Lancaster.

Keyed to our west coast wildfire catastrophe partly caused and substantially intensified by climate changes, a forthcoming article in the NY Times Magazine will talk about the millions of American climate refugees, people who are already living here, we will be seeing in the next generation.

On our own climate refugees, forthcoming

I just don't see how this plan is adequate to the future we know is coming. 

There will be more to say after reading the draft plan in full and drilling into more detail on the plan maps. Maybe this first impression will turn out to be wrong, but on the surface, this looks like fiddling on the margins and not a real engagement with the scope of emissions reductions and mitigation, as well as anticipating the new residents moving here, we know will be necessary.

Update, September 24th

Holy moly. Over on FB Jim Scheppke posted charts from last night's Work Session, and this plan is a whole lot of Potemkin Theater, all show and noise! Crucially, it doesn't do enough to change transportation with shorter trips and less driving, and therefore doesn't do nearly enough on greenhouse gas emissions. It's a FAIL.

There's no change here!

Here are the presentation documents:

Monday, September 14, 2020

Grant NA Still Opposes Affordable Housing in Church Project

The affordable housing project proposed for the First German Baptist Church of 1928 is at the Planning Commission on Tuesday the 15th, and the Grant Neighborhood still doesn't like it. (Staff Report and Commission Agenda.)
Nearly Complete, October 14th, 1928

The project, analysis of it, and debate around it, together really underscore ways that our 20th century autoist zoning scheme is inadequate to the exigencies of our early 21st century. If we think Our Salem will be a success with only small, incremental changes, we are likely very mistaken. Especially with our double crises of climate and affordable housing, we need a new paradigm for our neighborhoods and for city planning. Fortunately, there are many elements from traditional neighborhoods from the 19th century and earlier we can retrieve. In important ways the way forward should draw on the past and be a new and improved version of it. This proposal for the adaptive reuse of a century-old church meets many of those challenges and deserves support.

Overwrought Criticism as "Existential Threat"

On the whole the Neighborhood's opposition to the proposal, framed as an "existential threat to the existing neighborhood," is exaggerated, and the result is a NIMBY move to preserve incumbency privilege. 

Project as "existential threat"
The NA "strongly opposes" the proposal

Friday, September 11, 2020

City Council, September 14th - Public Bike Rental Reboot

Council convenes on Monday, and the wildfires, smoke, and ruin, which are not formally on the agenda, seem likely to overshadow items actually on the agenda.

Still there are a few interesting things to note in passing.

Bike Rental Hubs on City property
There is an agreement with Ride Salem, the public bike rental system, "to operate bike-sharing stations on City property."

On November 13, 2018, Council authorized the City Manager to execute an agreement between the City and Zagster, Inc., a bike sharing company headquartered in Boston and with offices in San Francisco and Philadelphia. On June 5, 2020, Zagster was dissolved as a corporation and ceased operating the bike share in the City. Ride Salem intends to resume the bike share service that Zagster ceased. [italics added]
The stations at the Union Street Bridge and Bush Park would be substantially new.

Because of the small number of rides and the fact that there are other much more urgent issues, now may not be the right time now to drill into the system, but in the future, if the City really wants a functional bike rental system that is more than something merely ornamental, they are going to need to look more closely at operations and at the downtown bike lane system (or lack of it). How does a visitor or casual, infrequent cyclist go from the Transit Center to Riverfront Park? Our current street system does not accommodate this person and trip very well and they are likely to want to bike on the sidewalk, which is illegal downtown. There is a mismatch here, and the City should be more interested in addressing it.

Previously see, "Ride Salem, Public Bike System, on Hiatus, Planning for Relaunch."

Council will also decide whether to consider a request to vacate a north-south alley off of Pine Street at the former strip club site on the riverfront. (See a previous note from 2017, "Proposed Housing on Corner of Pine and Front Looks Tricky.")

Planning Commission saw it differently
Staff gave a strong recommendation for denial

Not far away, there is an information item on Planning Commission approval for ODOT's request to rezone property on Commercial Street at Hickory. This is a little interesting since the Staff Recommendation was, as these things go, a firm "no."

Maybe there will be more to say, especially if Council takes it up for review.

Bullets for the rest:

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Former Oregon Climate Scientist Looks at our Skies in Dismay

The State Climatologist for North Carolina used to work at OSU on climate before moving across the country for the new job. Yesterday she said "I spent a lot of time in Salem talking about climate change over the past decade. This...this is it."

via Twitter

The clearings along roads give avenues for shots of the sky, and that is one reason we see them so often. But it is also a sign of our autoism that, like with the initial way we understood the Pandemic shut-downs through vast expanses of empty roads, we use the empty streets as a foil for the doomy skies.

Front page today

The individual stories of refugees, evacuees, and fire-fighters are important, but at some point we will need to step back and ask why we have this intensification. It's not random misfortune, but is catastrophe we have courted.

Front page last summer

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Impudence in Tree Removal Deserves Censure in Appeal Hearing

As we breathe in the smoke from the acres of trees and forest on fire right now, it might seem small to consider the loss of four or five trees in the city.

Thursday the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board will hear the appeal of retroactive, after-the-fact permits for street tree removal at the Wren Heights development on Salem Heights.

From the Facts and Findings section
But at least part of it sure looks like a slam-dunk, and it is fascinating that the City is still arguing for leniency. The City had even reminded the property owner prior to the removal that permits were needed. All the owner/developer had to do was apply for the permits, and the City would have granted them.

Since the prior approvals always discussed tree removal, arguing the permits themselves - as opposed to the timing and procedural sequencing - was improper will be much more difficult, and those parts of the appeal will likely be harder to sustain.

But a flagrant disregard of city regulations after the City issued a courtesy reminder should merit some kind of censure and penalty. On these narrow, procedural grounds there is strong reason to uphold this part of the appeal.

I'll be interesting to see how the Board rules and if they sustain any other parts of the appeal.

For a discussion of the appeal with much stronger criticism of the City, see at Hinessight:

Home page tile on the SJ earlier this morning

But of course there is the smoke, the fires, and the evacuation orders. The County remains obdurate on climate, and they seem unlikely to make any connection between this wind event, the forest fires, and their increasing probability and severity from climate disruption.

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Barbed Compliments and Deep Ambivalence for Labor Day in 1920

Back in 1920 with nativist sentiment and the Red Scare, popular assessments of Labor Day were barbed and back-handed. Still, as long as it could be contained and channeled, properly organized for Capital only, Labor could be celebrated. Especially under Prohibition, now with essentially all hops going to British firms as global commodities, there seemed to be a new nostalgia associated with hop picking as an "old time" activity.

September 5th, 1920

Immediately after Meyers sold to Millers
Reed Opera House
April 10th, 1920
From the ad placed in both the morning and afternoon papers by the city's largest department store located in the Reed Opera House:
Monday is Labor Day

The Day the Whole Nation Takes Pleasure in Honoring

This is not the day or the nation of loafers, of skimpers and scampers, of sabotage, or seditionists. There are wolves hiding under the honored raiment of Labor that might have so thought; but not so of the true American Workingman, the man of brain and skill, who will never be the catspaw of the Bolshevik ape.

Nowhere is there any desire to reduce Labor's prosperity, except by those who are parasites on the workers; and there will be no occasion for any reduction of wages, if Labor will simply be American and give its skill and energy wholeheartedly to producing a good day's labor for a good day's pay.

This is the way true Americans will answer the problem of the day.
All Honor to American Labor and Labor's Holiday

Yet the morning paper had a weekly Labor column, though it was contested and criticized.

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Minto Bridge Art and Secretary of State ODOT Audit - Bits

One of the small and chronic disappointments about the Pandemic is the curtailed travel and walking and biking in the city. In this contraction, trips are more on an "as-needed" basis. So it is less likely to come upon something like this, an art installation using the Minto Bridge for protest and justice.

BLM Protest and Art on Minto Bridge
via Twitter

Because of grief and loss, it's not right to say this is "wonderful" art. That's not it at all, though it has a kind of beauty. As a civic place in Salem, it is good that the bridge is available for multiple kinds of activity and creation of meaning, and can be repurposed for mourning and protest. You might remember also "Twilight on the Bridge," a memorial with luminaria created by Willamette Valley Hospice. This multi-valency is a sign of a good place.

Front page today
On the front page today, there was a story about the way freight interests have captured an ODOT advisory board on workzone safety and detour planning. The Oregonian focused on impacts to those who might employ non-auto travel, which the SJ did not much discuss.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Capitalized to meet Housing Need in 1920, Home Building Project Failed after Six Months

"Salem residents themselves caused the Salem Home Builders Association to fail. Salem people made a big flurry about wanting homes - but as soon as they discovered it would cost something to build them, they backed out....When people found they had to pay 20 per cent down, they lost interest and backed out."

So said Fred Legg, local architect and manager of the short-lived Salem Home Builders Association, in September of 1920, blaming Salemites as users, buyers, and creators of any demand.

September 3rd, 1910
From the newspaper alone it may not be possible to say exactly why the company failed, and it would be necessary to compare its organization horizontally to similar enterprises in other cities and states and vertically to any other Salem project at a different time.

That is not possible at the moment, so this is merely a snapshot, but it is a small piece of historical evidence that the market and private enterprise alone cannot supply meaningful quantities of affordable housing. Even in the laissez-faire world of 1920, something wasn't workable about the enterprise.

September 1st, 1920
In an editorial a couple of days before the blaming, the afternoon paper agreed that "the housing question has got beyond private capital and that government assistance...must be forthcoming....unless some construction program of federal, state, and community co-operation is speedily forthcoming, the housing problem will become a serious factor in public welfare, contributing incessantly to social unrest."

The project started in the fall of 1919. Rents and housing costs were up, apartment homes and houses were in short supply. The solution was obviously to build more housing.

A plan to aggregate capital to fund construction by selling subscriptions to Salemites seemed promising, a sure-fire investment opportunity, a win for the business community and a win for small-scale Salem investors supporting home industry.