Selling and Saving Your Home (and Your Neighborhood)

The AHC Advocacy Committee offers some practical advice to those thinking of selling their homes.

Download the article here

National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Future of Historic Preservation

Over the past year the National Trust for Historic Preservation has been discussing the future of preservation with partners from around the country. They have just released this insightful list of what the future may hold for the historic preservation movement.

A Guide to Requesting Demolition Delay Extensions

Recently members of the AHC Advocacy Committee participated with other local preservation groups in the development of a quick guide for how to request a demolition delay extension in the city of Portland. Click here to download this helpful document.

Portland’s New Demolition Delay Rules Explained

AHC Board Vice-President and Advocacy Committee Chair Steve Dotterrer explains what you need to know about these new rules.

Download the details here or visit the Portland Preservation blog for more details.

Portland Coalition for Historic Resources and United Neighborhoods Post Petition

The United Neighborhoods for Reform and the Portland Coalition for Historic Resources have posted a petition on It is directed at City Council and at the Development Review Advisory Committee which has been tasked by Council for coming up with short-term fixes to the demolition problem. The six points asked for in the petition are sound, practical, and potentially effective in tilting the balance away from “surprise demolitions” and neighborhood frustration that they don’t have time to respond to proposed demolitions.

You can find the petition here, and please circulate the link widely:

 Coalition for Historic Resources’ Recommendations for Addressing

Demolition Issue

Last Thursday, members of the Portland Coalition for Historic Resources met at the Architectural Heritage Center to develop a three-pronged approach to addressing the demolition issue in Portland. This Thursday, they will propose the following emergency measures to the Portland City Council.

  • Close loopholes by defining “demolition” as the removal of 50% or more of an existing building.
  • Require all residential demolitions to adhere to minimum delay and notification requirements.
  • Establish a task force to identify additional building and zoning code improvements that would ensure demolitions are appropriately managed and that replacement construction responds to neighborhood characteristics.

We hope those of you concerned about demolitions in Portland can attend the meeting this Thursday, July 31st at 2:00pm, at City Hall. There is strength in numbers and this is a opportunity to show the council that the current demolition epidemic must be addressed in a meaningful way.

The State of Historic Preservation in Portland – 2014

The Portland City Council will hear the annual “State of the City Preservation Report” from thePortland Historic Landmarks Commission on Thursday, July 31st starting at 2:00PM. A number of historic preservation issues, successes, and challenges are included in the very thorough report.

Here’s a link if you want to download the 2014 PHLC report.

At the AHC, we have been specifically involved in advocating for better preservation of our Skidmore/Old Town National Historic Landmark District, and the New Chinatown/Japantown National Register Historic District (through the West Quadrant Plan’s meetings over the past 18 months), as well as the campaign to save the Portland Gas & Coke Building (as part of the “Friends of” group meetings), just to name a few. We have also been a “first responder” to the Epidemic of Demolitions of Portland’s single-family homes. There will be more to come very soon on our proposed “list of cures” for this epidemic, so please check back! We are also a founding member organization of the Portland Coalition for Historic Resources; the PCHR recently agreed on three priority steps for the city to take to start the ball rolling on addressing the Epidemic of Demolitions – – also coming very soon.

Portland Comprehensive Plan

The City recently released the first draft of their 2035 Comprehensive Plan and is now accepting public comment. There is voluminous information about the plan here. Also, on September 9th, the AHC will be hosting a panel discussion on the draft Comp Plan and what it might mean for historic preservation in the city. City staff will be on hand to talk about the plan and to offer insight for those interested in giving public comment at meetings this fall. You can read more the program and register to attend here.

Older, Smaller, Better

The Preservation Green Lab of the National Trust for Historic Preservation recently published their study of how the character of buildings and blocks influences urban vitality. Much of this information is very applicable to Portland. Learn more here.

Crowd-Sourced Survey Seeks African American Historic Places

The Oregon Black Pioneers, in partnership with the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), has launched a new property survey project entitled Preserving Oregon’s African American Historic Places. The purpose of the project is to protect and preserve significant sites related to Oregon’s African history from the time period of 1844 to 1984. You can read more about the project here.

At the Bosco-Milligan Foundation we’ve been working to document buildings associated with Portland’s African American heritage since 1993 when we led a pilot program that grew into our “Cornerstones” initiative. We’re proud to acknowledge that BMF board member, Kimberly Moreland, who was actively involved in our Cornerstones project, is now heading up this state-wide survey project. While our publication Cornerstones of Community – the Buildings of Portland’s African American History is out of print, it is available in Portland area libraries. We hope to develop a revised edition once funding can be secured.

The City of Portland’s
“North and Eastside Portland Unreinforced Masonry Building
Survey Project Report” is now available

Don’t miss this!

Click here for more information

The National Trust for Historic Preservation’s – Preservation Green Lab

Saving Windows, Saving Money:
Evaluating the Energy Performance of Window Retrofit and Replacement

A new report offers insight for homeowners weighing the financial and energy tradeoffs between replacing or repairing older, less efficient windows. This analysis builds on previous research by examining multiple window improvement options, comparing them to replacement windows across multiple climate regions.

Read more at the National Trusts’s website

Download the Full Report

Report on the Environmental Value of Building Reuse

This ground-breaking study shows that when comparing buildings of equivalent size and function, building reuse almost always offers environmental savings over demolition and new construction.

Read more at the National Trusts’s website
Download the Full Report

The Portland Plan – Adopted Plan Now Available

The long-awaited Portland Plan is now available in adopted form.

Click here to see the Adopted Plan.

We were successful in resolving the alarming exclusion of any historic preservation issues in the draft Portland Plan. Thanks to all who helped advocate for our case for inclusion!

 Portland’s Central City 2035 Plan

Central City 2035 (CC2035) is an update to the 1988 Central City Plan, which is the existing plan and policy for downtown and central areas of Portland, Oregon. In coordination with the Portland Plan, CC2035 will address challenges and opportunities in the Central City to ensure that this unique economic, transportation, cultural and educational hub will be a vibrant resource for all Portlanders over the next 25 years. You can view the project website at Central City 2035, which includes more detailed information about the project, the new Advisory Group, an event calendar, and ways to stay informed.

The first phase in Central City 2035 is a Concept Plan, which will set overall direction and policies for the Central City. In order to help frame the Concept Plan, the Central City 2035 team hosted a Symposium Series in late 2010 and early 2011. The symposiums featured discussions among stakeholders and experts on critical questions. The CC2035 Advisory Group will integrate the results of the symposiums into the Draft Concept Plan.The Central City Plan has now emerged with a newStakeholder’s Advisory Committee.Use this link to see their schedule.

Economics of Preservation ‐ the latest from the National Trust

When we talk numbers and statistics regarding preservation’s economic benefits, we always want to stay up-to-date. Thanks to the work of Donovan Rypkema, David Listokin, Michael Lahr, andMandala Research, LLC, and others, all featured in this updated two-pager compiled by Jennifer Buddenborg of the Mountains/Plains Office of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, we can stay current and in-the-know.
Click here to download a two page pdf entitled: “12 Economic Benefits of Historic Preservation”

Follow our blog Portland Preservation

With so much going on in the Portland area related to historic preservation, we thought it was time to create a tool to keep people up to date as much as possible. Our blog Portland Preservation will help you stay on top of preservation issues in and around the Portland area. We hope you’ll check it out!

Portland Public Schools

by Cathy Galbraith

Portland Public Schools Historic Buildings Assessment:

Portland Public Schools Historic Buildings Assessment is available for download on the PPS website. For more information about schools in your neighborhood or others you may be interested in, click here. This information will be important as the Portland School Board works to develop a new bond funding proposal.

Memorial Coliseum

• The Portland Development Commission has a website specifically dedicated to the Rose Quarter Development Project: “Future Rose Quarter development will realize the long-anticipated community vision of a pedestrian-oriented, mixed-use district that showcases leading edge sustainability practices, creates jobs, and is well integrated and connected with the surrounding neighborhood and adjacent Lloyd district. This process will eventually result in the creation of a Rose Quarter Development Strategy and a determination on the future of Memorial Coliseum.”

If this issue is important to you, be sure to sign up for their mailing list so that you will be automatically notified when new information is posted on the site.

• The National Park Service officially listed Memorial Coliseum in the National Register of Historic Places in 2010. The Rose Quarter Stakeholder Advisory Committee needs to keep this designation in mind as they detemine recommended future uses for the Coliseum and development in the Rose Quarter. Congratulations to everyone who has worked to preserve this modern Portland architectural icon.

To read more about this listing or other structures recently added to the National Register in Oregon,click here.

Historic Preservation Needs Assessment

The Bosco-Milligan Foundation, owner and operator of the Architectural Heritage Center, has expanded field services and technical assistance citywide, with the goal of helping residents preserve what is important to them, in their corner of the city. This project is assisted by a Partners in the Field challenge grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Our first step was toask Portland residents like you what your primary concerns are and to find out what tools and training you need in order to be more effective in preserving your neighborhood history.

We held a series of five meetings across the city of Portland, to collect information from residents who are interested in or concerned about historic preservation. Responses have now been compiled into aHistoric Preservation Needs Assessment, available below.  Based upon this report, workshops will be developed to address common themes and to provide technical assistance and training for residents interested in becoming pro-active preservationists.

Click Here for a PDF of the 2009 Portland Historic Preservation Needs Assessment.

Economic Reasons For Investing In Historic Preservation

The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation has posted an article on the their Web site on the implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act as it relates to historic preservation. They offer a compelling case for spending money on preservation because “Dollar for dollar, historic preservation is one of the highest job-generating economic development options available.”

Click here for the full article, with links, including quotes from our “guru” Donovan Rypkema.

The Future of Skidmore/Old Town Historic District

The zoning code amendments that would allow much taller buildings on five “opportunity sites” was greatly debated by City Council, along with the proposed Design Guidelines and a Resolution to encourage the use of Eric Ladd’s cast iron artifacts in projects in the district. The entire package was tabled  in early 2010. The important issue is however, still simmering and about to be raised again. Expect a new task force soon!

The National Trust for Historic Preservation weighed in, opposing the zoning amendments and supporting the design guidelines and cast iron resolution, as we did. See the Bosco-Milligan Foundation’s letter to City Council (PDF) and the National Trust’s (PDF), plus a statement from Art DeMuro (PDF), Chairman of the Portland Historic Landmarks Commission. See the Portland Planning Bureau’s website for all of the documents that the Council is considering as it decides the future of Portland’s National Historic Landmark district. The National Park Service has expressed their concern about the impacts of the taller new buildings on the NHL status of the district.

Historic Landmark Commission Hearings

Click here for more information on Historic Landmark Commission public hearings and other commissions overseen by the City of Portland’s Bureau of Development Services.