It's another week, time for the Pacific Northwest College of Art to secure ownership of major Pearl District real estate at little or no cost. They can't keep it up at this pace, surely, but fresh off the news a few days ago of securing the 511 Broadway building, the school has reached an agreement with the family of the late Edith Goodman, the building's owner, to purchase the school's home since 1997 on an full block between Northwest 12 and 13th Avenues, Johnson and Kearney Streets. The agreement is accompanied by announcement from PNCA of accompanying financial news, summarized thusly (as Alton Brown would say) by DK Row:
The college also publicly launched a historic capital campaign targeting $32 million in pledges by the end of June 2009, when the college celebrates its centennial. The campaign, which has quietly raised $26 million, went public Saturday with the announcement of three lead campaign gifts of $1 million each from PNCA board president Al Solheim, the Harold and Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation and the Maybelle Clark MacDonald Fund. The MacDonald donation is a challenge gift, contingent on whether the college raises an additional $3 million.
Renovated a decade ago by Holst Architecture, the Goodman Building has always been a nice environment, I think, particularly its huge open space in the middle. I've been to award ceremonies there, Japanese DJ concerts, a French philosopher's lecture, a design forum, art exhibits, but all the while the renovated old warehouse itself, with its exposed structure and simple white aesthetics, is itself a particularly nice piece of any experience. From an artist's or curator's standpoint in some of the exhibit spaces, maybe there is more that could be done, but I still like the building a lot. And that's before we even talk about the exterior paint job created by Randy Higgins (above), which is a transcription of an Arthur Rimbaud poem into a language of differently sized squares and rectangles.
According to D.K. Row's Oregonian article, Allied Works will oversee design for the $12 million "light" (says PNCA) re-renovation. That's on top of Brad Cloepfil's firm already being selected by PNCA for the 511 Broadway building (pictured at left). So in effect, for all of the huge commissions that Allied has received over the past several years, for art museums in St. Louis, New York, Seattle, Ann Arbor and Denver, not to mention the Wieden & Kennedy job before those, PNCA will be the Cloepfil client with repeat business for his firm. And though it may not be for a few years, I'm betting PNCA isn't done acquiring buildings with these two, wonderful a foundation (pardon the pun) as they may be. How about a ground-up building for PNCA on some of the post office's surface parking lot in the back? Or perhaps something further north, out by the Fremont Bridge and Centennial Mill?