Just north of the Capitol Mall , the State Archives Building (800 N. Summer St., 503/373-0701, 8 a.m.–noon and 1–4:45 p.m. Mon.–Fri.) is known by some Oregonians mostly for it luxurious interior decor commissioned in an era of belt-tightening.
It’s worth a look at the art in the building’s foyer, but in order to get into the archives area, you’ll have to fill out a bit of paperwork stating your research objective. (Saying you are a tourist, we’ve found, is insufficient.)
But the archives do contain the scrawled accounts of a meeting of early state leaders, first-hand descriptions of settler life, and original documents relating to the Oregon Territory as well as the first copy of the state constitution.
It’s all summed up quite well by the words below a striking glass mural of the pioneers in the reception area: “To think we came all that way, risked everything, used our bodies as plows, and arrived here with our lives.”