Another rendering of initial designs for new building proposed next to Hollywood Theatre.
It’s not that preservationists feel that whatever is built should mimic the architectural style of the theater. In fact, so-called “faux historicism” is just the sort of thing we don’t want. At the same time, building something completely in opposition to the surrounding neighborhood context (the theatre is the centerpiece) is also not a desirable outcome. There must be a balanced design that, to quote the city’s Hollywood and Sandy Plan (2000) respects “the character of the Hollywood Theatre” while also “emphasizing it as a neighborhood focal point.”
Policy 12.3 of the Hollywood and Sandy Plan focuses on historic preservation, specifically calling for the “preservation and enhancement of historic and architecturally significant buildings in the district.” The design guidelines for the area also “require development to respect and build off of the character of existing historic buildings by using similar siding materials and details such as cornices, windows, roof pitches, pilasters, and others.”
Completed in 1926, with a design completed by architects John V. Bennes and Harry Herzog, the Hollywood Theatre is the namesake of the neighborhood. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983 because of its architectural significance – including the fact that it is a rare Portland example of a building with polychrome glazed terra cotta. That fact alone makes enhancing the theatre’s façade even more significant.