Salem Historic Preservation Plan Update


​The City of Salem is updating its 2010-2020 Historic Preservation Plan. Historic buildings, sites and objects are reminders of a community's past and components of "cultural identity." Familiar, beautiful landmarks provide an emotional anchor and a sense of orientation to what is around them.

In addition to protecting this beauty, historic preservation is important for four other reasons: economic, environmental, cultural and education. The existing Historic Plan's five goals reflect those reasons:

  • Code improvements
  • Public education
  • Incentives (economic and recognition)
  • Survey
  • Heritage tourism

Salem has successfully completed a majority of tasks from the existing plan and has hired a qualified preservation consultant, Painter Preservation, to help the Historic Landmarks Commission with an assessment of the work completed to-date.

The consultant will also help create a needs assessment and updated goals and tasks for the next ten years. The work is grant-funded by Certified Local Government, which promotes local historic preservation, and supported by city staff. Contact us at 503-540-2347 or [email protected].

How can I get involved?

You will have opportunities to participate throughout the project, including:

  • Historic Landmarks Commission Stakeholder Advisory Committee
  • Open houses
  • Online surveys
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Contact us

Kirsten StrausStaff AssistantCommunity Development Department
Black and white image of the Herbert Hoover House.

Herbert Hoover House, Salem, home to the 31st president of the United States (1929-33), was located on the intersection of Highland and Hazel avenues. Hoover lived from 1874-1954.

Ben Maxwell photo

  • ​Establish a Historic Landmarks Commission Stakeholder Advisory Committee. Members will be representatives of the Commission and other stakeholders, who will oversee work of the staff and consultant.
  • Survey the community and host one open house to evaluate and assess Salem's Historic Preservation Program and the adopted goals, including:

    1. Historic Preservation Code and design review process
    2. Outreach and education
    3. Incentives
    4. Survey and designation
    5. Heritage tourism
  • ​The Consultant will work with staff and the Stakeholder Advisory Committee to develop alternative solutions and recommendations for issues identified with the Needs Assessment
  • Survey the community and host one open house to present alternatives and recommendations for updates to the Preservation Plan.
  • ​The Consultant will work with staff and the Stakeholder Advisory Committee to develop action items, implantation steps and timelines for the Historic Preservation Plan Update.
  • The Draft Historic Preservation Plan Update will be presented to the Historic Landmarks Commission at a regularly scheduled public meeting.
​The consultant and staff will finalize the updated Historic Preservation Plan, which will be reviewed and adopted by the Salem City Council as part of Salem's Comprehensive Plan.
Black and white image of the Salem Hat Parade.

Salem Fourth of July parade, 1902. The photo was probably taken on State Street, near the corner of Commercial Street. The hat may represent a manufacturer.

Ben Maxwell photo