Monthly Archives: May 2010

Demolition appears imminent for Irvington building

As first mentioned in April, demolition of a historic building at 1510 NE Hancock Street appears to be imminent. The 1890 structure and onetime Salvation Army Home for Unwed Mothers will be razed this summer according to a recent article by Fred Leeson in the Oregonian. An architectural firm has plans to build a four-story building on the site, using design standards compatible with the historic Irvington neighborhood and thus avoiding review by the Portland Historic Landmarks Commission. Unless plans are made to move the historic building before July 30th, demolition will most likely occur.


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Cathy Galbraith Honored with McMath Award

Bosco-Milligan Executive Director Cathy Galbraith was honored this past Wednesday with the second annual George McMath Award for Historic Preservation. The University of Oregon presented Galbraith with the award for her long career and inexhaustible commitment to historic preservation. Since 1993 Galbraith has served as the Executive Director of the Bosco-Milligan Foundation.

Each year, the University of Oregon and the Venerable Group, Inc. present the McMath Award to a leader in the field of historic preservation who has made important contributions throughout the state of Oregon. The award is named in honor of the late George McMath, considered to be the father of preservation in Portland. Both an architect and a preservationist, McMath devoted a lifetime to preserving and restoring Portland’s rich architectural history.

A hearty congratulations to Cathy!

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Kitchens – 1949 Style

There is an interesting article about kitchens in today’s  Oregonian. It includes a link to a great 1949 film about proper kitchen organization. Some things have certainly changed, others remain the same. Enjoy!

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Historic Preservation buried in latest Portland Plan draft objectives

It’s good that Historic Preservation “made the cut” and is included in the latest draft objectives for the Portland Plan. However, the subject is buried rather deep within the nine so-called “Action Areas” of the plan. It is clear that if preservation is going to gain any teeth, we’ll need to draw more attention to the cause.

If you look at the Portland Plan Action Areas, you’ll see that one is called Design, Planning, and Public Spaces. The only mention of historic preservation is located in this category under Direction 2, Objective C.

Here is what that objective says:  “Today, historic resources contribute to the identity of Portland. But, large areas of the city lack historic preservation strategies and have also not benefitted from energy retrofits or other efforts that link preservation and sustainability.

By 2035, preservation and reuse of historic buildings is integrated into Portland’s sustainable development strategies. The city has implemented strategies that promote the preservation of historic resources and energy retrofits throughout the city.”

The City also has another Community Survey that they are asking folks to fill out by June 1st. There are NO questions that ask about historic resources or neighborhood character in this survey.

If you have not already filled out the survey, here are some of the questions where you might add comments to raise the issue of historic preservation:

Question #8 – Housing Choices – The housing choices should be distributed throughout the entire city, not only in established traditional neighborhoods.

Question # 16 – Neighborhood satisfaction – We want to preserve our existing neighborhood character.

Question #18 – Household Energy – Do not support the removal/replacement of old-growth wood windows, this is not effective energy conservation.

Question # 22 – Backlog on Facilities Repairs – We should maintain and repair historic schools, parks, and other public buildings.

The last question (#23) asks “Are there any Missing Priorities?” – We need to raise the profile and visibility of our Historic Resources; the greenest buildings are those already built and they also define who we are.

Please take a few minutes and fill out the survey – comments about Historic Resources are very important!

If you are interested in seeing preservation gain more standing in the Portland Plan process, we urge you to let the City know and also consider attending one of the remaining public workshops on May 15th or 18th.

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Filed under Events, Historic Preservation, Infill Development, Local History, Modernism + The Recent Past, Schools, Sustainability

Something afoot at the Sinnott House

The owner of the wonderful Sinnott House at 105 NW 3rd has recently requested to “remove and store for re-installation” the building’s decorative wood and metal cornice. If this link is any indication, it may be that the circa 1883 cast-iron building is about to undergo a much larger rehab. We certainly hope that is the case and that the Sinnott will be returned to it’s former glory. Here is a link to the notice about the cornice removal.

Mid-1960s photograph of the Sinnott House prior to a fire that destroyed much of the Simon Building next door. From the Bosco-Milligan Foundation's George McMath slide collection.


Filed under Historic Preservation, Local History