Salem Historical Quarterly
Salem Downtown Historic District
Roughly bounded by Ferry, High, Chemeketa and Front Streets



The 1889 Bush-Breyman Building on Comercial Street
The Salem Downtown Historic District was officially listed in the National Register of Historic Places on September 28, 2001. The district is a seven-block area roughly bounded by Ferry, High, Chemeketa and Front Streets. Of the 92 buildings, 67% contribute to the historic character of the district, significant for its association with a regional response to the discovery of gold in California, the agricultural development in the Willamette Valley and the organization of the Oregon territory leading to statehood. It is also significant for its collection of a variety of commercial architectural styles.

Within two years after Salem was established, Thomas Cox had opened the first retail store at the northeast corner of Commercial and Ferry Streets, directly across from today’s Convention Center. This was the beginning of our commercial downtown.

The Bush-Breyman Building is one of the historic buildings described in our Walking Tour (see below).

When You Are Here:
There is one Open House in January:
January 7: Adoph Building (Portion 1), 9-1

The Elsinore Theatre has been restored to its appearance of almost 80 years ago. For more information about events at the theatre: 503 581 8810 or the Elsinore website.
Meanwhile, tours are available Tuesdays and Thursdays at noon. Call 503 375 3574 for an appointment. (Be sure to ask your guide about the Elsinore’s ghost.)

The Wednesday Evening Series shows classic films. Please check the Elsinore website (above) for more information about classic films being shown February through April, 2005.

To Learn More:
salemhistory.net/places/places.htm has information on many of the buildings. Click Inventory of Historic Downtown Salem Buildings. For a map, click Map of Historic Downtown Salem.

Information is available from the City of Salem at Historic Landmarks Commission, 555 Liberty Street, Salem, Or. 97302. Call 503 588 6011.

You may also refer to the Historic Landmarks Commission website. A list of historic properties and an illustrated walking tour is available here.

Walking Tour: