On Saturday, November 11, 2017, the Architectural Heritage Center hosted a panel discussion on Local and National Register Historic Districts. The AHC classroom was completely full as each panelist gave a short presentation on the historic district theme, followed by a lively moderated Q & A segment led by Kristen Minor of Peter Meijer Architect. Kristen is also a member of the Portland Historic Landmarks Commission.


The first presentation was by Ian Johnson from the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office. Ian discussed the National Register of Historic Places program, including what it does and what it doesn’t mean. You can download a copy of his presentation here.

Next up, Barbara Bushell from Peacock Lane discussed the process her neighborhood went through to complete the recently approved National Register nomination for Peacock Lane as a Historic District. Here’s a quick outline of their efforts.

John Liu from the Laurelhurst neighborhood then gave a thoughtful presentation on Laurelhurst’s ongoing pursuit of historic district status. John made a great point during his talk noting that the old growth forests we often consider lost in Oregon are actually still there, embedded in our older homes across the city. You can download his presentation here.

Finally, Brandon Spencer-Hartle from the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) discussed historic districts in Portland and the possibility of adding local level historic districts as an alternative to the National Register. You can download his presentation here.

There were still plenty of questions and discussion even as we ran out of time for the program on Saturday, so we thought it would be helpful to post the presentations here so they can be shared throughout the community. We hope to continue hosting important and topical programs like this at the AHC and in fact, we’ll be hosting one of the BPS Historic Resources Code Project sessions in January. More details on that can be found in Brandon’s presentation above or here.