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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon.

Oregon Youth Correctional Facility Closes After More Than 100 Years

Hillcrest Youth Correctional Facility opened its doors in 1913. On Friday, the 104-year-old youth detention facility  in Salem, Oregon, closed for good.

Hillcrest was a victim of its age. Oregon Youth Authority interim director Joe O'Leary said the cost of upgrading Hillcrest to modern standards was substantial.

Officials with the agency decided it would be more cost-effective to move the youth incarcerated at Hillcrest about 25 miles up the road to the MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility in Woodburn.  

The transition was complete in August, allowing Hillcrest to close its doors after more than a century.  

O’Leary said Hillcrest had beautiful brick buildings, like something you'd see on a New England college campus. He called the closure of Hillcrest an historic event.  

"Obviously Hillcrest has got an iconic place in Oregon history,” O’Leary said. “It's served generations of young men and women."