North Mall Office Building
When it was constructed, it was referred to as the "North Mall Administrative Building" and was to set an example to the world of environmentally friendly building standards. The official address is 725 Summer Street NE, Salem, Oregon
It is surrounded on the south by another building (which is just north of Union Street NE), and on the east and west by Summer and Winter Streets, respectively. On the north side, there is a small trail that wanders along a creek, with a small set of benches overlooking the creek.
In the middle of the building, there is a nice courtyard which is quiet as it is hidden from major streets. There is quite a lot of attractive landscaping, but the dominant feature of this courtyard is "The Sampo" sculpture.
I suggest doing a Google search for "North Mall Administrative Building" to find out more about the various "green" building standards used in constructing this building.
The building is a very short distance north of the Salem Saturday Market, and the courtyard may be a good place to rest from the crowd if you go to that market.
EcoEarth Globe from Acid Sphere Tank
The land on which Salem's Waterfront Park sits was originally part of a paper and wood pulp processing plant owned by Boise Cascade. Buildings were cleared from the land, but a few of the chemical tanks remained, including a quite large spherical tank that was once used as part of the acid bath process for paper making.
No one was quite sure exactly what to do with this tank. It was too large to move it easily, and being made of substantial welded together steel it certainly wasn't something that could be easily demolished either. What does one do with a huge sperical steel tank?
The creative citizens of Salem came up with the idea of leaving the tank right where it always was, and creating the EcoEarth Globe, which is a tile mosaic created on the outside of the tank. This astonishing piece of artwork, much of which was created with donations and volunteer time, features mythical creatures (mermaids in the ocean), historical pictures (railroads arrive in North America), historical figures (Nelson Mandela in South Africa), animals, plants and even entire ecosystems (Brazilian rain forest) famous to certain areas of the world.
EcoGlobe is at the far south end of the Salem Waterfront Park. If driving, follow signs to the business loop of 99E, which runs along the Willamette River as Front Street NE. Just before going under the bridge at Marion Street, turn onto Union Street. Continue driving south along the river until you get to the large parking lot on the south side of the bridge. Once in the park, keep walking to the very far southern end of the park.
If taking transit, from the Salem Transit center walk west on Court Street 3 blocks to the park. After crossing Front Street and entering the park, keep following the sidewalks to the southern end of the park.
I have put a few more photos of the EcoEarth Globe in a Travelogue so that you may see yet more of the artwork if you so desire.
The Willamette University grounds are just across state street from the Capitol grounds. The old buildings are worth a look as this is the oldest university in the western USA. Jason Lee, a missionary who first came to Oregon in 1834, originally founded a school for training indians that became known as the Oregon Institute, formally established in 1842. This private University has graduate programs in Law, Management, and Education. The current 69 acres are a fraction of what were once the campus grounds, as much of downtown Salem was once part of the University grounds.
On the other end of Oregon, by...
On the other end of Oregon, by the California border is Crater Lake. This is another place everyone should see. The drive around the caldera takes a couple hours. This is a trip that would be hard to take from Salem in just a day, especially if you want to hike down the caldera to the 60 seater motor boats that will take you around the lake. The hike down is steep, but there are alot of benches along the way. The boat ride takes you to the island in the lake---Wizard Island. You can get off there and hike the mile up to it's little caldera. We did and the views were spectacular. I found the wind blown dead trees on top of the Island quite fascinating. We also found out that the little crater inside Wizard Island is how Crater Lake really got it's name. It's a tough hike up the island, and not much of a path. You can also fish in Crater Lake if you want, although they don't stock it. Someone caught a very big trout while we were there. THe boat ride around the lake takes about 2 hours, not counting the time on the island. The hike back up the caldera is quite a hike. Expect the trip to do the boat ride and hike the island and back up the caldera to take about 7 hours. Then go to the visitors/gift center and restaurant and recuperate. Or, if you're lucky, rent a room in the newly renovated Crater Lake Lodge. There's also a very nice looking restaurant there overlooking the lake, but reservations will probably be needed. We ate at the buffet above the gift shop across the street from the Lodge and enjoyed our meal there, and the view of the lake, too.
explore an obsidian flow
Also by the Cascade Lakes scenic byway is a huge obsidian flow. The caldera of Newberry Volcano measures about 7 km across and is filled with pyroclastic rocks, flows, and domes of the Pleistocene and Holocene age. These flows include toolstone quality obsidian glass, which have been quarried throughout the last 11,000 years. The most recent eruption, about 1300 years ago, produced the part called the Big Obsidian flow.
Unlike the rope and holey lava of the Hawaiian islands, obsidian is a very smooth--glass like and very shiney rock. There is a 3/4 mile RT hike up and around the flow.