A Timeline of Oregon's Capitols - 1859 to Present
Several cities served
as the capital of Oregon before Salem was chosen to be the official
State Capital. These include Oregon City, West Linn, and Corvallis.
Even after the capital settled in Salem, a number of buildings served as
the State Capitol.
Years 1848 - 1859
1848 On August 14 Congress passes the act to establish the Territorial Government of Oregon. Oregon City was the first capital.
1852 President Millard Fillmore signs a measure May 4, 1852
officially making Salem the Capital of the Oregon Territory.
an appropriation from Congress, William H. Rector receives a contract for building Capitol
the site of the present capitol. On December
3 the legislature of the territory commences its sixth annual session in the
1855 Bill is passed temporarily moving the Territorial legislature to Corvallis. After meeting there between December 3 and 18, legislators move the capital back to Salem. On December 30, the Capitol building burns down under suspicious circumstances.
begins meeting in the Nesmith building in Salem.
is admitted to the Union on February 14. Legislature begins meeting in the
Holman Building in Salem.
Years 1860 - 1934
is chosen by popular vote to be the capital city of the State of Oregon.
legislature authorizes the construction of a new Capitol in September. The architects for the new capitol building are Justus
Krumbein and W. G. Gilbert.
1876 Possession of the building is taken in August.
1888 Porticoes are added to the building at a cost of $100,000.
1893 A dome is erected on
top of the Capitol designed by Justus Krumbein.
Years 1935 - Present
1935 At 6:30 p.m. on April 25, a fire begins burning in a basement storeroom of the Capitol, completely destroying the building. After the fire, the House meets in the Salem Armory and the Senate in the Marion Hotel.
1938 The present capitol building, designed by Francis Keally,
with the New York firm of Trowbridge & Livingston, is dedicated on October
office wings are added to the southeast and southwest corners of the Capitol designed by Wolf, Zimmer, Gunsul, Frasca Partnership of Portland.
1995 The rotunda and dome are restored and reinforced following earthquake damage in 1993.