This is the Vern W. Miller Civic Center - a.k.a. City Hall.

Salem seemed to have a kind of golden age in the 1970's with the
contruction of this and other ill-advised monstrosities.
The CC is a model of the era's popular neo-barbaristic
architecture with vast swaths of concrete hewn with into the hills
of the south edge of the downtown core. Great slate-grey columns
support this open-air structure while the greenery tries to hide
it all. I guess it was a cost effective method of creating a new
center of city government, but Christ, it's depressing.

Alongside the administrative offices of Vern's Palace of Blah are
the Peace Plaza and the Salem Public Library. Both are also quite grey.

...at least they all match the sky...

Finally! A city hall that matches the
character of the city!
...and for your convienience, the culprits
for this monstrosity are listed here.

This elevated section of the CC houses the
city council - a group of senior citizens that are elected by thier
ability to match the decor of the building's exterior.
Big, empty and cold...perfect habitat for
municipal workers.
...but they did plant some greenery for
conveinent grazing. My city is a considerate city.

The city fundraisers.
Have a party, meet these guys.

This is the portal to the old folk's home.
Mind your lip, whippersnapper.
...ahem...let's move on, shall we?

Between the city hall and the library resides this
place - the Peace Plaza. The naitive american name for the Salem
area is Chemeketa - meaning peace. Heck, even the name of the modern
metropolis means peace. Salem's got peace to spare, so we enshrine
it here.
See? Peace Plaza. In case anyone else in
town forgets the name of the square, it's posted on
banners all over.
In the summer, this fountain can actually be
quite pretty. In the autumn, it's far more...damp.

Welcome to the Salem Public Library. Suprisingly, this
is a pretty lively place and is something of a quiet crown jewel for Salem.
It's considerably larger than most other public libraries in the state and
has a good partnership and book sharing agreement with the Oregon State Library,
Willamette University, and the libraries in the small towns that ring the city.
I like it here.
You know, the trees actually do a good job making
the place look presentable.
Welcome to the reference book area of
the SPL. Well...a small part of it.

disklandia@comcast.net
2003 Brent M. Diskin
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