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Contributing- Structure currently maintains historic value
Risk- Structure at risk, needs minor restoration on facade
Danger- Facade maintains little historic value, in need of full renovation
Non-Contributing- Building deemed new; no historic value. (Can be renovated to look historic, without grants)
Finished- Facade restored to historic value

operation downtown

Operation Downtown is a project beginning in the summer of 2019. The goal of operation downtown is to help restore the historic character of our downtown buildings. In doing so, we hope to bring life back into our downtown area. This project is directed strictly by volunteers and donations. Any downtown building deemed historic and in need is eligible for donations and volunteer work, allocated by the Salem Alliance for Historic Preservation. 

Buildings are categorized into 5 categories. We ask you to remember that this project is STRICTLY regarding facades, or the front of the building. The interior of the building is not taken into consideration, and will not be a part of this project. The categories are as follows:

  • Contributing: Historic locations downtown that retain a vast majority of their historic value. These location are revered for having maintained their historic facades for many years. These buildings are last on the list of priorities, as any projects needed are extremely minor. These buildings are still eligible for our assistance, however must understand that projects in more need will be addressed first. 15 buildings

  • Risk: These buildings clearly retain historic value, but have sustained obvious alterations over time. These alterations include the removal of transom windows, bricked over windows, and other minor alterations. As these projects are simple, these buildings will be high on the list of priorities. These small projects are easy ways to get our group noticed in the community, and possibly recruit more volunteers and donations. 17 buildings

  • Danger: The facades of these buildings simply retain no historic value whatsoever. These buildings have underwent extensive renovation, usually in the mid 20th century. In this time frame, a popular trend swept rural America of covering the brick and mortar facade of downtown locations with aluminum. At this point, this was a simple way to modernize your building. Today, that is a blessing and a curse. A curse in the essence that these buildings hold no historic value in their appearance, but a blessing that the brick and mortar is likely very well preserved beneath the metal. These projects require more labor intensive work, including removing the metal and tuck pointing the brick where the metal was attached. Although these project are more in depth, they are very much worth it. 17 buildings

  • Non- Contributing: These buildings located downtown have been built post 1950. They are deemed non-contributing via the National Register of Historic Places. These facilities are very last on our list of priorities. However, these buildings CAN be renovated to match the surrounding downtown area. Our group is willing to assist with these projects, but you must understand they are not our priority, and will come when all of the other work is done. Also, please understand that these projects are not eligible for any grants, and likewise will not receive donation money from our organization. 14 buildings

  • Finished: I hope dearly that soon these dark blue boxes will appear across the above map. The category is quite self explanatory; these are projects that our organization has finished.

Contributing, risk, and danger properties are encouraged to contact us for donations and volunteer projects. Our volunteers are ready to help restore your building. If you have supplies or are willing to purchase supplies for the projects, we will gladly accept. Those building owners choosing to apply must heed warning to the following terms:

  • For 12 months after project completion, a sign provided by our organization must be posted in an exterior window, stating who the project was completed by and when

  • For 48 months after project completion, no alterations to work done by our organization can be made.

  • Volunteers and organization will not be held accountable for accidents. If something is broken, we will try our best to replace it. However, funds may not always be sufficient.

  • These renovations are strictly historic. The projects will take place in regard from photos from Salem Over Time, The Salem News archives, and other historic sources. If no photographic evidence can be found, at that point we will base the renovation off of surrounding buildings. Please do not expect a modern renovation, as that is not what will be taking place. 

  • When applying for grants, other rules and regulations will apply. We will adjust our terms accordingly.

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