The Chaucer Apartments, located at SW 10th Avenue, will soon receive a $1.5 million renovation, restoring much of its historic character. Originally known at the Order of Odd Fellows Building, the structure was designed by German-born architect Ernest Kroner in 1924. The Odd Fellows sold the building in 1980 and it was converted to apartments the following year.
According to Fred Leeson’s recent Oregonian article, renovation plans include replacing rusted steel-framed windows with new ones that resemble the originals; repairing and cleaning brick and terra cotta on the exterior; and repairing the entrance’s terra cotta marquee.
The terra cotta marquee is the only such example in all of Portland. Also unique is the use of terra cotta baldachins along the roofline, an architectural feature typically found on religious buildings. Designers are currently researching whether exterior lights can be returned to the baldachins, as they once illuminated the facade.
For more examples of Portland’s rich terra cotta architecture, sign up for the Architectural Heritage Center’s downtown walking tour on June 10th.