One of Portland’s more historically and architecturally distinguished buildings has been sitting vacant for a distressingly long time. The Jantzen building, constructed in 1930 and designed by local architect Richard Sundeleaf (who started, like Pietro Belluschi, in the office of local legend A.E. Doyle), sits on Northeast Sandy Boulevard at 20th Avenue.
It was originally, of course, built for the Jantzen swimwear company, which was particularly big from the 1920s-50s. The building is clad in brick and terra cotta with some nicely detailed decorations, such as the iconic Jantzen “diving girl” over the entrance. Next door sits a midcentury modern addition, the date of which I’m not sure.
Both buildings are designated for office space, of which there is a glut of on the market right now. For several years, adidas and its then-subsidiary, Salomon, were partially headquartered there, but moved out a couple of years ago when their new headquarters on Northeast Greeley was completed. The location perhaps is a difficult one; there aren’t many companies lining up to do house their administration on this stretch of Sandy.
The buildings are historic, well kept for the most part, and I think very handsome. Sundeleaf’s original is the most distinguished, but the glass modernist building next door could be restored or even re-imagined a bit, and it would make for some very nice architecture. Hopefully soon the realtor will land a tenant willing to set up shot in this little gem, or perhaps the owner would consider an outright sale to a responsible company.