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Oregon State Capitol Master Plan

"Historic continuity with the past is not a duty; it is only a necessity."

-Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
 

Kevin Hayden, Legislative Administrator
Phone:
503-986-1848
Address: 900 Court St. NE, 140A,, Salem, Oregon 97301
Email: Legislative.Administration@state.or.us 

 

Project History

 View articles on the steps to develop the master plan

Capitol Master Plan Complete - June 17, 2009
Master Plan Principles - January 31, 2009
Open House - October 16, 2008
Master Plan Workshop III - July 17, 2008
Master Plan Workshop II - June 19, 2008
Master Plan Workshop I -May 23, 2008
Workshop to Launch Long-Term Vision Planning for Capitol -May 16, 2008
First Capitol Master Plan Workshop Scheduled -May 2, 2008
Oregon State Capitol Master Plan -March 14, 2008

 

Capitol Master Plan Complete- June 17, 2009 

Starting in the spring of 2008, the Oregon Legislature conducted a one-year project to develop a master plan for the Capitol. Development of the Oregon State Capitol Master Plan included evaluation of existing Capitol facilities and identification of current and future needs for the Capitol over the next 20 to 30 years. The completed master plan charts a course for use of the historic Capitol, and defines how future projects will continue efforts to restore the Capitol.

Master planning work was conducted by SRG Partnership, an architectural firm based in Portland. A broad-based group of participants worked closely with SRG during the project, and oversight was provided by a governance group of legislators. The finalized master plan was presented to the Legislative Assembly during the 2009 session.

 

Master Plan Principles - January 31, 2009 

The principles below were approved by the Master Plan Governance Group to guide the direction of the plan:
 

Space Needs

  • Current occupants of the Capitol project the need for an additional 12,400 square feet of office space over the next 10-15 years. 
  • Additional hearing rooms are needed in the Capitol. 
  • Parking for legislators will be provided within the Capitol.
  • The Capitol Café will be relocated to a more accessible location within the Capitol.


Historic Preservation

  • The historic areas of the Governor’s ceremonial office, including reception, conference and adjoining office area on the 2nd floor; will be renovated/restored to the 1938 design.
  • The historic elements/areas of the 1938 Capitol will be restored and preserved, including the entire exterior and adjacent grounds, the entry, rotunda, corridors, stairs, chambers, Governor’s office, Treasurer’s office, and Secretary of State’s office.
  • The perimeter “footprint” of the Capitol will remain with no additions visible when viewing from the exterior.


Fire/Life Safety/Accessibility

  • A fire sprinkler system will be installed in all areas in the 1938 building with the possible exception of significant historic areas where access is very limited. Other alternatives will be explored for these specific historic areas.
  • A new smoke detection system and new fire alarm system will be installed throughout the Capitol. 
  • The entire Capitol (1938 and 1977 buildings) will be seismically upgraded to a minimum “Life/Safety” condition to allow for safe exiting of the facility following a major seismic event, even though the Capitol may be severely damaged.
  • ADA accessibility will be improved for entering the Capitol and within the Capitol.
  • Exiting will be improved and public access reduced on the 3rd floor to address safety and existing dead end corridor conditions in the 1938 building.

 

Existing Condition Improvement

  • The 1938 building systems will be replaced including heating/ventilation/air conditioning and all piping (water, sanitary, storm); the steam heating system will be converted to hot water; and the electrical and data distribution systems and existing lighting will be upgraded throughout.

 

Sustainability

  • The day lighting and natural ventilation potential will be enhanced throughout the Capitol including the chambers, rotunda, stairwells and office areas. 
     

Master Planning Open House - October 16, 2008 

An open house about the Capitol Master Plan was held on Thursday, October 16 in the Galleria at the Capitol.  Displays about existing conditions and the use of space were available from 11:00 to 1:00.  Experts met with members of the public, legislators, Capitol residents, and staff from state agencies to explain master plan findings to date and seek input.  Input from all of these perspectives is important in shaping the Capitol Master Plan, which will chart a course for restoration and use of the historic building for the next 20-30 years.

Following the open house, the master plan architect began working on concepts to meet the demands placed on the Capitol.  The concepts will identify construction and use of the space strategies so that the Capitol can continue to serve Oregonians as a monument, the seat of government, and an office building.
 

Master Planning Workshop III - July 17, 2008 

Information about current and future space needs in the Capitol, and current building conditions at the Capitol was reviewed by participants at the third Capitol master planning workshop, held Thursday, July 17, 2008.

Use of Space - Analysis of the space needs information provided by Capitol residents shows that they will need 10% more space over the next 10-15 years.

Preliminary Brainstorming Ideas to Address Space Issues – Initial ideas include relocating some functions, expanding the use of some space, and consolidating/reconfiguring some areas. 

Existing Conditions – Original 1938 Building

  • Fire sprinklers cover less than half of the 1938 building
  • Some corridors provide an exit in only one direction
  • Mechanical systems (such as ventilation fans) have exceeded their useful lives.  They work, but newer systems use less energy and take up less space

Next steps in the master planning effort include developing concepts to address space and existing condition findings.
 

Master Planning Workshop II: Programming - June 19, 2008  

Preliminary information about use of space in the Capitol was discussed at the second Capitol Master Planning Workshop, held Thursday, June 19.  The information was obtained through recent interviews with all Capitol residents about:

  • the current amount of space they occupy in the Capitol
  • how their space usage changes from session to the interim
  • how frequently they work with other agencies and offices in the Capitol
  • projected growth and the increased need for space.

Information on the use of space, or “programming”, is still preliminary and will undergo further analysis.  Data gleaned so far was presented at the workshop in diagrams.  The diagrams group offices and agencies that interact most and show the frequency of contact. 
 Bonnie Bruce, the associate with SRG Partnership who interviewed all offices with space in the Capitol, shared some preliminary observations from the interviews:

  • Many people were concerned about maintaining the historic integrity of the Capitol and would like to see it become a greater historic reference point for the public.
  • Many people believe the original building needs attention.  Specific building systems mentioned for upgrade are heating/cooling, security and wayfinding.
  • Dependence on technology will increase and the building must be prepared for it.
  • There is insufficient availability of conference and hearing rooms.
  • Parking is precious.
  • A lot of growth is projected and no one wants to leave the building.
  • The challenge now and for the future is to put ten pounds into a five-pound bag.

Further information on the use of space in the Capitol will be discussed at the next master planning workshop, scheduled for Thursday, July 17.  Workshop participants will begin to develop solutions to the ten-pounds-in-a-five-pound-bag problem.  Everyone with an interest in the Capitol, from Capitol residents to the public at large, is encouraged to attend.
 

Master Planning Workshop II: Eco-Charrette - June 19, 2008 

The second Master Plan Workshop, held June 19, included an "Eco-Charrette" as a key part of the workshop. The Eco-Charrette included two parts. During the first part, experts in the field of sustainable building described examples of how buildings can be more energy efficient and have a lower environmental impact.
G. Z. (Charlie) Brown, Professor and Director of the Energy Studies in Buildings Laboratory for University of Oregon, described the features of a highly efficient school building that is already in use here in Oregon. The building uses natural lighting and passive ventilation almost exclusively to keep students comfortable. Brown discussed how technology like that already being used in Oregon can be incorporated to further efforts to increase both utility and efficiency at the Capitol.
During the second part of the Eco-Charrette, workshop participants divided into two focus groups and spent time brainstorming and discussing ideas for sustainability measures that could be implemented at the Capitol. Some of the ideas discussed by participants included expanding the current recycling program; increasing access to sustainable commuting options; reducing heat loss through metal framed windows; pre-heating water going into water heaters using solar energy; and incorporating photovoltaic or fuel cells to provide electricity for the Capitol.

The Master Planning Workshops represent your opportunity to contribute to the development of a long term vision for the Capitol. If you haven't yet, please consider attending a workshop.
 

Master Planning Workshop II - Existing Conditions - June 19, 2008

The second Master Planning Workshop, held Thursday, June 19, covered topics including space needs in the Capitol, sustainability in the design and use of the Capitol, and existing conditions of the building. Articles in upcoming newsletters will recap the space and sustainability discussions.
 SRG and our own Facilities Services staff have reviewed and documented conditions on the exterior of the building, in the interior including hidden systems such as plumbing and ductwork, and the seismic status of the building. So what is the existing condition of the Capitol? “As old as it is, it’s in very good condition,” stated Skip Stanaway, architect with SRG Partnership, the firm conducting the master planning process.
Their findings include:


Exterior

  1. The marble is in good condition with some normal age-related maintenance needed.
  2. The windows are single-paned glass in bronze frames. They are beautiful and historic, but pose a challenge to building sustainability because they do not efficiently retain or exclude heat.


Security


  1. Open access to parking directly in front of the building poses a potential risk. There is no deterrent to vehicles approaching the front of the building.


Interior

  1. Systems in the wings are generally in good condition.
  2. Lighting is dim in corridors of the original building.
  3. There are a number of accessibility concerns in the original building. These include the lack of handrails on some stairways, wheelchair accessibility at only the east entrance, historic 1938 doorknobs that don’t have levers, and restrooms that are only partially accessible. Wayfinding can be a challenge.
  4. Some of the water pipes in the 1938 building are clogged, including those that service about half of the drinking fountains.
  5. Steam boilers are in good condition, but inefficient compared to today’s hot water boilers. The steam system in the 1938 building has outlived its useful life.
  6. The air distribution system in the 1938 building is also outmoded.
  7. While the main electrical service in the original building has been recently replaced, many code and maintenance issues exist. For example, light fixtures are largely outdated, inefficient and energy wasteful.
  8. The fire alarm notification system in the original building is not up to current code standards and additional smoke detectors are needed.


Seismic

  1. In the event of an earthquake, the Capitol can be expected to experience severe structural damage, with failure of non-structural elements such as piping and electrical.
  2. Seismic upgrades, if implemented, would improve the protection of life and safety because the building would have some structural damage but would be generally stable.

At future workshops, the existing conditions findings will be combined with space needs findings and sustainability ideas to identify challenges and opportunities for the Capitol. These challenges and opportunities will form the basis of the building improvement initiatives that will comprise the master plan. The next master planning workshop is set for Thursday, July 17.
 

First Master Plan Workshop Held this Week -May 23, 2008  

Many offices, agencies and organizations were represented at the master planning workshop held Thursday, at the Capitol. Attendees representing Oregon State Capitol Foundation, the Grant Neighborhood Association, Cafe Today at the Capitol, State Parks, Oregon Disabilities Commission, Oregon Historical Society, the Capitol Club, City of Salem, Secretary of State's Office, Treasurer's Office, legislator and caucus offices, and many others all participated in an initial presentation from SRG staff outlining how the Capitol Master Plan will be developed. Later, everyone divided into two smaller focus groups to discuss their vision for the Capitol over the next 20 to 30 years.

The workshop was streamed live by Legislative Media via the Oregon Channel website and recorded. If you are interested in requesting a video copy of the workshop, please contact Legislative Media at 503-986-1195.

This first workshop is an important part of the "Imagine/Discover" phase of the project. The goal was to generate ideas about how the Capitol could or should look and function in coming decades. In addition to the workshop, Facilities and SRG staff are evaluating the current conditions in the building, and interviewing Capitol occupants about their future needs for space.

The second workshop will be June 19. Look for more information on the event in upcoming newsletters.
 

Workshop to Launch Long-Term Vision Planning for Capitol -May 16, 2008  

The future of the state Capitol will be the topic of discussion in a series of workshops that will take place over the next year. The first is scheduled from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 22 at the Capitol.

The workshops will include a diverse group of Oregonians who will discuss their vision for the Capitol as a facility, a community presence and the historic seat of Oregon’s state government. Offices participating in the workshops include: legislators and their staff; legislative offices and building occupants including the Governor, Treasurer, and Secretary of State; organizations with an interest in the Capitol such as the Oregon State Capitol Foundation and the Oregon Disabilities Commission; Capitol neighbors such as the City of Salem, Marion County, Willamette University and neighborhood associations; and the Oregon Historical Society.

The workshops will be conducted by SRG Partnership of Portland, the architectural firm working with the Legislature to create the Capitol master plan. SRG’s previous work has included master planning for the Washington and Montana Capitols. When completed, Oregon's Master Plan will establish a roadmap to address the future needs of the Capitol for a 20 to 30 year timeframe. 

To submit an idea for consideration during the master planning process, please email your idea to capitol.masterplan@state.or.us or write to Legislative Administration, 900 Court St. NE, Room 140-A, Salem Oregon 97301.
 

First Capitol Master Plan Workshop Scheduled -May 2, 2008  

The first workshop in a series of ten has been scheduled in the Oregon State Capitol master planning process. A diverse group of stakeholders has been invited to the workshop to discuss their vision for the Capitol as a facility, a community presence, and the historic seat of Oregon’s state government. When completed, the master plan will establish a roadmap to address the future needs of the Capitol for a 20 to 30 year timeframe.

The master planning process involves three concurrent efforts:

  • Evaluation of the existing building conditions in the Capitol
  • Assessment of “program” needs, or how well the Capitol provides space for the many purposes for which it is used
  • Stakeholder workshops to discuss vision and goals for the Capitol, evaluate challenges and opportunities, and develop the concepts on which the master plan will be built.

The workshops will be conducted by SRG Partnership, the architectural firm working with the Legislature to create the Capitol master plan. SRG has recently worked with Washington and Montana to create their Capitol master plans. Stakeholders participating in the workshops include:

  • Legislators and their staff
  • Agencies with offices in the Capitol
  • Capitol tenants
  • Organizations with an interest in the Capitol such as the Capitol Foundation and the Oregon Disabilities Commission
  • Capitol neighbors such as the City of Salem, Marion County, Willamette University and neighborhood organizations.

If you have questions about the master plan or the workshops, please contact Vicki Brammeier at vicki.brammeier@state.or.us or (503) 986-1212.
 

Oregon State Capitol Master Plan -March 14, 2008  

Starting this spring, the Oregon Legislature will conduct a one-year project to develop a master plan for the Capitol. Development of the Oregon State Capitol Master Plan includes evaluation of existing Capitol facilities and identification of current and future needs for the Capitol over the next 20 to 30 years. Once completed, the master plan will chart a course for use of the historic Capitol, and define how future projects will continue efforts to restore the Capitol.

Master planning work will be conducted by SRG Partnership, an architectural firm based in Portland that was selected through a competitive selection process. SRG did master plan work for the Washington and Montana state capitols. The project will include a review of existing building conditions, interviews with Capitol offices about current and future uses of space, and a series of workshops to develop the vision and values for the Capitol. A broad-based group of stakeholders will work closely with SRG during the project, and oversight will be provided by a governance group of legislators. The finalized master plan is due to be presented to the Legislative Assembly during the 2009 session.

 About the Master Plan

The 74th Legislative Assembly
authorized creation of a master plan for the Oregon State Capitol. The Master Plan Development Project
was conducted in 2008-2009.

The master plan is a high-level roadmap for the Capitol to meet the needs of Oregonians for the next 20-30 years.