11 April 2024

Silverton's Crows' Nest


Even if you're in a town as modestly-sized as My Little Town of Silverton, you might miss something if you don't look up when you would otherwise be looking down, or sideways, or whatever.

Now, I will cop to a bit of disingenuity here. As we are finding out about one of The Most Oregon Places That Ever Existed, Silverton has enough architectural quirkitude and charm for a town many times its size; that's what happens when you let the old buildings stay and don't break your neck trying to remake the place in a fashionable mode (yes, Eugene Field School is no longer there, but that was a sad necessity). Indeed, Silverton's architectural vicissitudes are east to spot ... but sometimes, you do have to trouble yourself to take a moment and look up

The facade of the Palace Theatre, with its Art Deco detail comes immediately to mind, but a half-block south of that, on the same side of North Water Street, there's, this:

Stand in front of Mac's Place, turn south, and look up, and there is this enigmatic cupola perched on the northwest corner of the Wolf Building, which I've mentioned before, just a few articles ago.

Now, I was born in Silverton, and lived there until my early teens. And I knew the Wolf Building, remembered Hande Hardware and its wood floors. I was borne of ancestors who had lived in the area since the 19th Century. I guess I knew Silverton about well as any kid would, but it wasn't until I was an adult that I knew that crows' nest even existed. 

And now I'm hungry for a look out those windows. And I know of no other town that can claim a weather vane on the peak of the tallest building in town, but there it is. Silverton, you never stop surprising even this jaded former resident. 

It's true; Silverton contains enough architectural wonder of more than one Silverton, but the Wolf Building contains enough design interest for one Silverton, one Molalla, a Gervais and about half a Scotts Mills.

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