PRINEVILLE, OR -- A Prineville building that was home to the Les Schwab headquarters for about half a century is being torn down, this week. The tire mogul started his business in 1952 and moved in to the Madras-Prineville Highway location in the late 50s. After that, Les Schwab Chief Marketing Officer Dale Thompson says, the company just kept growing. "The retread plant was moved out of that building and across the street, to where it is today – those blue buildings that you see along the highway. We kept remodeling and adding-on in the 80s; a third addition was added in the 90s, and we just kind of outgrew the space and made the move to Bend."
That move to Bend's Juniper Ridge occurred about 10 years ago, "Those buildings have sat vacant since then," Thompson tells KBND News. "They’ve had no use, other than a training center where we have some bays. And, the buildings are in a condition and a shape where they’re not usable for us at this point." He adds, “It’s not developable as it is, and so we’re improving the site so it has some potential in the future.”
Demolition crews began work earlier this month, "We started on the 16th by putting up fencing and getting the site ready. The demolition company came in and started doing some interior work and found that it was going faster than they expected, so some of the walls have started to come down."
Thompson says training bays at the property will remain, for now, along with the retread plant across the street. There are no plans yet for the property after the buildings are razed. Les Schwab's original 1952 store and office building, in downtown Prineville, has been gone for a number of years.
Photo: courtesy Valerie Berry