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Oregon State Capitol, Salem

#3 of 54 in Things to do in Salem
Government Building · Tourist Spot
The Oregon State Capitol is the building housing the state legislature and the offices of the governor, secretary of state, and treasurer of the U.S. state of Oregon. It is located in the state capital, Salem. Constructed from 1936 to 1938 and expanded in 1977, the current building is the third to house the Oregon state government in Salem. The first two capitols in Salem were destroyed by fire, one in 1855 and the other in 1935.

New York architects Trowbridge & Livingston conceived the current structure's Art Deco stripped classical design in association with Francis Keally. Much of the interior and exterior is made of marble. The Oregon State Capitol was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on June 29, 1988.
The federal government's Public Works Administration partially financed construction which was completed during the Great Depression in 1938. The building was erected at a cost of $2.5 million for the central portion of the building, which includes a dome of 166 feet (51 m). The wings, which doubled the floor space of the building to about 233,750 square feet (21,716 m2), were added later for $12.5 million. The grounds outside the capitol building contain artwork, fountains, and flora, including the state tree (Douglas fir) and state flower (Oregon grape).
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Oregon State Capitol reviews

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394 reviews
  • Road trip! Capitol # 43! Our guide, Suzanne, made this capitol even better! Tours are on the half hour. We almost joined a school group but decided to wait when we were told the there were no...  more »
  • Oregon has many wonders and rich history. The Oregon Capital is no different and the walls are filled with knowledge for those who thirst for history.  more »
  • I haven't been to the capital in years. I am now disabled and didn't know if I'd even be able to get in. There is wheelchair access on the far left of the front steps. The signage isn't great, but you can find it. The staff was very kind and helpful. As a child I was always intrigued by the murals in the rotunda. I really enjoyed seeing them again. They are majestic. There are a number of exhibits that were great to see. And the grounds are really impressive. So beautiful. Take a couple hours and immerse yourself in our State's history!
  • Visited in mid-November, and it was the same day they brought in the big Christmas tree, smelling fresh and wonderful! Got to see them hoist it up! The building itself isn't one of the more ornate ones and we weren't able to go on the tour to the top, but the grounds across from the Capitol were so pretty with the fall leaves!! Take the time to walk around it! Displays inside gave us visitors a variety of details about state demography, legislation and capitol building history and architecture. Architectural symbols are of interest in their social context.

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