It looks like the 1927 Meier & Frank Warehouse on NW 14th and Everett will be remodeled to house the new headquarters for Vestas Wind Systems. The Portland Business Journal, the Oregonian, and the Daily Journal of Commerce are all reporting that building owner – Gerding Edlen – will soon begin renovations, with Vestas expected to occupy the building in early 2012.
Designed by architects Sutton & Whitney, known for the Weatherly Building in Portland’s Central East Side, the warehouse is on the National Register of Historic Places, making it potentially eligible for historic preservation tax credits. This project is a terrific example of historic preservation combined with sustainable development, all wrapped in a blanket of hundreds of new jobs.
Postcard of Original Interstate Bridge - from the Bosco-Milligan Foundation Collections
Yes, it is regularly overloaded with traffic, but it seems that lost in all of the discussion about replacing the old Interstate bridges with a new “Columbia River Crossing” is the fact that the oldest of the two existing bridges is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It is, in fact, a pretty historically significant structure that thus far in public discussions has been given little attention.
Opened in 1917, the bridge was designed by Waddell & Harrington of Kansas City, notable for also designing the Steel and Hawthorne bridges.
So, what should be done with the historic bridge? Should it simply be demolished to make way for a new CRC ? Perhaps it could be re-purposed for bikes, pedestrians and/or light rail?
Memorial Coliseum c.1961
Once again the Memorial Coliseum is getting headlines. This time, in an interview with the Vancouver Columbian, Commissioner Leonard re-asserted his desire to demolish the mid-century icon. Apparently its status in the National Register of Historic Places doesn’t matter. Of course such status will mean that any attempts at demolition will lead to quite a battle involving not only local preservationists, but those from the state and national level as well.
Current conditions aside, to demolish this building would mean a tremendous waste of embodied energy. Maybe this is a good time to remind folks that studies have shown how historic preservation is an economic driver and job creator.
You can read the National Register nomination here. You can also read more about this at the Portland Architecture blog.
We’re still trying to get more details, but this morning the Daily Journal of Commerce is reporting that the owners of the old Hotel West building, the well-known home of the Satyricon nightclub, are planning on demolishing the building to make way for a new homeless shelter. More information about the building can be found here.
We’ll be sure to post more information as it becomes available.