Old School

That’s a phrase now, “old school”…meaning the way things used to be done or even how things used to look.  My brother Doug was here the other night and the talk turned to his blog about a real old school in the Alameda/Alberta district in Portland.  He was writing a blog post about the Old Vernon School in Portland which he “published” this morning (https://alamedahistory.org/2017/03/11/old-vernon-forgotten-neighborhood-ghost/)…take a look for a fascinating story of land development, neighborhoods, shifting perceptions.

Originally, many public schools across the nation were big wood-frame schools, buildings that occasionally burned down with disastrous results.  The trend in the 1920’s and 30’s was to tear town such schools and replace them with brick buildings, and Salem was not immune.  When one of these schools came down it was a total shift in the surrounding area as schools always serve as community centers, in a way, and there was usually a shift in the resulting land use once the school was gone..  I wonder if you know of old East School in Salem?  Here it is in it’s glory days…

Many photos of the developing neighborhood around the school were taken from the top of the school building, like this one looking east along Marion Street

and here’s a view of the old State Capitol building in the upper right before the dome was added…with Center Street, Chemeketa Street and Court Street visible…

and seen from the old State Capitol building, East school is the large white building on the left in this photo (you can see the turn in Center Street as it heads out to the State Hospital).

…And here’s East School ready for demolition…

Have you guessed what sits on the East School site now?



  1. You got to be kidding … a Safeway! Oh that’s a shame… it was a lovely building…. I so hate to see history demolished..sad. I know there are times when it can’t be helped though as the buildings are to far gone to be restored.

  2. Just bet that was a lovely time to live in Salem. So peaceful.
    Too bad that beautiful building had to be torn down. Really, there is not much of the old Salem left, which strikes me as a real tragedy.

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