Softstar Wins 2018 DeMuro Award for Workshop Renovation

Softstar Wins 2018 DeMuro Award for Workshop Renovation

We have some big news! Over the past couple years, we shared our journey of moving into our new workshop in Philomath, Oregon. As you may have heard, we restored a 1950s roller rink into the company’s revamped workshop and retail location. Previously known as the Phil-O-Rink, this wood-trussed structure served as a community skating rink for a quarter century before closing in the 1970s. Aside from a brief stint as an indoor flea market in the 1990s, the spacious barrel-vaulted building sat empty. Now, it has now been brought back to life, fully and sustainably repurposed.

In recognition of this work, Softstar Shoes has been named a 2018 winner of Restore Oregon’s annual DeMuro Awards, which celebrate and honor exceptional historic rehabilitation and architectural preservation projects across the state of Oregon.

Visionary Building Restoration

This building, once a hub of activity and a center of joy in the community, had became an abandoned eyesore along Philomath’s Main Street. We teamed up with designer and contractor Alan Ayres to bring the vision for the old roller rink to life. We’re grateful to Alan for restoring this building to its original glory, along with adding many modern upgrades to make the building’s features functional and sustainable.

Our company’s CEO Tricia Salcido says she’s incredibly excited to have won the DeMuro Award, in large part because it honors Alan’s skill and dedication to the community.

“I’m so proud to have worked with Alan on this restoration project. He’s not only concerned with beautifully preserving and reinventing historic structures, he’s also a benefactor to local businesses,” Salcido says. “He has helped so many businesses flourish, and he sees the big picture—the community, social and cultural impacts of the projects he takes on.”

Restore Oregon says all of this year’s DeMuro Award winners were selected for extraordinary quality, creative problem-solving and notable community impact.


As a crew here at Softstar, we’re grateful to have such a striking, light-filled space in which to craft our shoes. So often “manufacturing” conjures up images of windowless warehouse factories (often thousands of miles away), but our colorful workspace is right here in the USA and is full of whirring sewing machines, music, laughter and light. This historic building encapsulates and mirrors so many of the key values we embody at Softstar: sustainable, beautiful and made with quality craftsmanship.

We’d like to extend a huge thank you to Restore Oregon, our restoration crew that made this possible, and the amazing community of Philomath for making us feel so welcome here in our new home. We offer tours of our manufacturing facility and provide a peek of this building’s roller rink past via exhibits that dot and enhance our retail space. If you haven’t yet swung by to check it out then we hope you drop in soon!

About the DeMuro Award

Restore Oregon launched the DeMuro Awards program in 2013 to publicly recognize teams of architects, designers, contractors and property owners for committing to restoring and honoring Oregon’s historic architecture and cultural heritage. The award is named in honor of Art DeMuro, whose redevelopment of historic properties set the standard for quality, creativity, persistence, and business acumen. The DeMuro Award is the only statewide award in Oregon recognizing the creativity, persistence, and craftsmanship required by outstanding restoration projects.

“Our goal is to both honor outstanding preservation efforts—residential and commercial, urban and rural, private and public— and to share them as inspiration for others,” says Restore Oregon Executive Director Peggy Moretti. Restore Oregon will present awards to each of the winning restoration teams at the Restoration Celebration on November 2, 2018.

Softstar Workshop Restoration Photos

It's been a long restoration process, and our staff was excited to help out when Alan needed a few extra hands. It has been amazing for us to follow the transformation of our building, and we he hope you appreciate it, too!

Enjoy a few photos of the work progress:

And because it's a fan favorite, here's our full roof raising video again:

Any thoughts? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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