Last month I talked about the recent renovation to the Union Street bridge that was converted into a pedestrian bridge in the first part of my series, but I have to say this this project was a real change for downtown Salem Oregon…the convention center and Phoenix Grand Hotel.
Taking a city block the Phoenix Grand Hotel and the Salem Convention Center are a mix of old style architecture and modern architecture. I personally like that they made the Hotel have an “older style” feel to the exterior to blend with the existing downtown architecture. With this improvement came Bentley’s Restaurant. Now Salem had a few good restaurants prior to Bentley’s, but Bentley’s brought with it a trendier atmosphere that Salem sorely lacked. A bit more hip, compared to other offerings, this restaurant set the stage for what downtown could become. I have yet to be in the restaurant when it isn’t busy.
As one of the first buildings that you see as you enter the downtown corridor, then hotel and convention center set the stage for a rejuvenation of the downtown area. When this project was completed I know I thought, WOW…the downtown could look pretty awesome with projects like that…and projects like that continued to occur.
I love old architecture and am not a fan of tearing buildings down unless necessary. Honestly, I can’t even remember what was on the corner of before the hotel and convention center went in downtown. I tried to scrounge online for some “pre” photos to link to but I didn’t find anything. If you are considering a relocation to Salem Oregon, just know that rejuvenation projects have been occurring all over the downtown and central areas, improving Salem Oregon in positive ways.