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Oregon State Legislature About the Capitol Foundation

About the Foundation

Foundation Vision

The vision of the Oregon State Capitol Foundation is to create a living history, enhance the dignity and beauty of the Capitol, and foster cultural and educational opportunities.

The Oregon State Capitol is a treasure to be safeguarded. The Oregon State Capitol Foundation is dedicated to preserving and enhancing the State Capitol and the shared heritage that it represents for all Oregonians.

Culture and Learning

The Oregon State Capitol is home to many art exhibits and historical displays. Both permanent and temporary pieces can be viewed in many of its corridors and lobbies. In the Governor's Office and the Galleria we provide many Oregon artists the opportunity to professionally display their artwork. Woodcarvings, Native American beadwork and quilts are just a few of the types of artwork that have been loaned to us in the past for the viewing pleasure of our visitors.

Each year thousands of tourists visit the Oregon State Capitol. Some come to admire the history of the building. Some are interested in the artwork. Others climb the 121 steps up into the Capitol tower and out onto an observation deck to get a closer look at the Oregon Pioneer and a spectacular view of Salem. Many more come to learn about or participate in the legislative process. During a legislative session, the State Capitol is full of activity with legislators, staff, and citizens from throughout the state of Oregon.


The idea for a non-profit organization originated in 1991 with the Capitol Preservation Advisory Committee (CPAC) who saw a need to explore funding sources and possibilities for Capitol projects which were not funded through the regular budget process. Initially, the group settled on the idea of organizing a "Friends of the Capitol" group. A subcommittee was formed to establish goals and objectives. In 1996, a Capitol Endowment Task Force was appointed by the Legislative Administrator to look into the possibility of creating an endowment fund to address ongoing maintenance needs without having to rely on General Funds. Ultimately, the 1997 Oregon State Legislature passed Senate Bill 1220 to establish the Oregon State Capitol Foundation and an Oregon State Capitol Foundation Fund. At that point, Foundation Board members were appointed and work began on a strategic plan for accomplishing their purpose.