The 100-square-foot, three-story, Telegram Building, consists of brick on top of a basement and concrete foundation that resembles Liberty Hall in Philidelphia. The building opened its doors in 1922, serving as the Portland Evening Telegram's headquarters and production plant. Though the paper began in Portland in 1877, it existed as the third-ranked paper among the city's four daily newspapers in the 1920s. Most consider the Portland Evening Telegram a Republican-leaning publication.
The building's investor was J. N. Barde, his first venture in the real estate market. Before that, he enjoyed financial success in the scrap metal business, notably after brokering government surplus steel, ships, and munitions at the end of World War I. Although much of the building has been altered over the years to accommodate new ownership and modern inventions, items such as the press pits which remain in the basement but are boarded over. Column cap moldings, wall paneling and a curvilinear staircase with wrought iron railing have survived in the place where the Telegram
's business office occupied the center of the main floor. As well, the paper's art department utilized a room in the brick base of the clock tower, which is arguably the building's most noticeable feature.
The Portland Evening Telegram had been founded in 1877 by Henry L. Pittock, who was also the owner of the leading daily paper, the Oregonian. In 1914, he sold The Evening Telegram to lumberman John Wheeler, who orchestrated the construction of The Telegram Building, which opened 1922. In 1931, after the stock market crash that marked the beginning of the Great Depression, new owner E. W. Scripps merged it with the News and consolidated operations of the News-Telegram, which, for a time, stabilized the operation during tough economic times. However, by 1939, The News-Telegram finally ceased publication; the Great Depression proved too daunting of an economic climate for the paper to survive.
The Telegram Building remained vacant until 1938 when radio station KLX moved into the facility -- they occupied the building for three years. The building host numerous retail outlets for much of the twentieth century and now, today, exists the building is home to a local bank.