Category Archives: Sacred Spaces

Architectural Heritage Center Teams Up With Smartphone App Developer Tagwhat

The Bosco-Milligan Foundation owns and operates the Architectural Heritage Center in Portland, OR  whose mission, in part, is to inspire people to conserve the art, craft, and context of historic buildings and places. In their latest venture, the AHC has teamed up with the developers of the smartphone app Tagwhat,  to continue in their quest to help both Portland residents and visitors alike better understand the architectural history of the Rose City. Tagwhat bills itself as “The mobile encyclopedia of where you are” and their easy to use application is a great way to learn more about the city from right where you are standing.

Users of the application are able to filter Tagwhat “tags” by subject based channels.  For Portland, these channels include one dedicated to content uploaded by the folks at the AHC. Thanks to the help of an intern, over 70 buildings and sites around the city have (to date) been “tagged” with content ranging from building dates and architects’ names to fantastic photos showing how a particular building looked maybe a century ago. Users are then able to share virtual postcards via Facebook or email, so you can show your friends back home (or across town) how great the architecture is in Portland.

In many instances, the tags also include links to more information, such as an entry about a local architect that can be found on The Oregon Encyclopedia. The AHC hopes to have more than 150 tags, covering much of the city, uploaded into their channel by the end of March.

Click on the map to learn more about the buildings and other sites on the AHC’s Tagwhat channel.


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Filed under Historic Preservation, Local History, Modernism + The Recent Past, Sacred Spaces, Schools

Historic Preservation League of Oregon Seeking Nominations for Endangered Places List

A few weeks back the Historic Preservation League of Oregon sent out a call for nominations for their first ever Most Endangered Places of Oregon list. During the HPLO’s Preservation Roundtable on historic districts last summer, participants brought to the HPLO’s attention a number of threatened historic places around the state in need of additional visibility and community support. In order to learn about and actively support these properties the HPLO has assembled an endangered places list modeled after successful examples found around the country, such as those administered by the National and Washington Trusts for Historic Preservation.

The Simon Building facade and Sinnott House Building in Portland's Old Town

Like these other endangered places lists, the HPLO is asking friends of preservation to first nominate the vulnerable and valuable historic places that matter to their communities. Nominations can be prepared by anyone for any place that embodies local, state, or national history and is under some natural or man-made pressure of demolition, alteration, or neglect. Nominated places that are selected for this year’s list will then be made an integral part of the HPLO’s field programming for 2011, providing the slate of loved places with individual technical assistance and collective statewide attention.

Additional information about the Most Endangered Places program, as well as a nomination form, can be found here.

Nominations are being accepted through March 21st, with an announcement made in late May.

Demolition of the Rosefriend Apartments in 2007. Photo courtesy of Brian Libby.

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Filed under Historic Preservation, Modernism + The Recent Past, Sacred Spaces, Schools

A Question of Character

Last night, the Portland City-Wide Land Use Group, a group predominately made up of land-use representatives from Portland’s 95 neighborhood associations, met to discuss the issue of Neighborhood Character and how it might be better defined in the Portland Plan. This is certainly a great issue to have on the table and it is our hope that many people will contribute to the discussion in the coming months.

For its part, the City has a definition for “desired character” already written into the thick volume of zoning code language also known as Title 33.

Here’s that definition:  “The preferred and envisioned character (usually of an area) based on the purpose statement or character statement of the base zone, overlay zone, or plan district. It also includes the preferred and envisioned character based upon any adopted area plans or design guidelines for an area.”

The first thing one might notice is that there does not appear to be any consideration of existing conditions in a given area. Instead, the emphasis is on “preferred and envisioned” or what folks at the City might want an area to be, whether it has any of those characteristics to begin with or not.

So here’s where you can help us help the City. If you have a personal take on what neighborhood character means to you or how you would define it, please post your comment to this blog post or email it to me: .

There’s no need to share your name if you don’t want to, but please do let us know what neighborhood you live in, so we have some point of reference when we relay your comments.

Thanks and have a Happy Thanksgiving!



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

Welcome to Portland Preservation!

AHC Dusk Exterior

The Architectural Heritage Center located at 701 SE Grand. Photograph by Lincoln Barber

With this inaugural post, the Bosco-Milligan Foundation / Architectural Heritage Center has significantly expanded our historic preservation technical assistance and advocacy work. Thanks to a matching grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, we have created this blog to keep people better informed and to expand participation in historic preservation issues and events around the Portland, Oregon metropolitan area.

We will use this site to update you about emerging preservation issues in communities including the City of Portland, and Multnomah, Clackamas, and Washington counties. If you are aware of a preservation issue in your neighborhood or community and want to share your interest or concerns with us, please contact Val Ballestrem or Cathy Galbraith. Click on the Contact Us tab above for more information.

Our goal is to update this site regularly and to demonstrate that historic preservation is not just about preserving the past, it is also about conserving our traditional communities and neighborhoods for all of us and for future generations.  Thanks for reading and we hope to hear from you!


Val Ballestrem, Education Manager, Bosco-Milligan Foundation

Cathy Galbraith, Executive Director, Bosco-Milligan Foundation


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