BY BRIAN LIBBY
Walking tour: Historic Multi-Family Housing Of Northwest Portland
Northwest Portland’s Alphabet District is often thought of for its beautiful mansions, when in fact, as this Architectural Heritage Center tour will demonstrate, it has a surprising history as a rental district. The Couch family built some of the earliest upscale rental units. In the 1920s, Elmer Feig became well known for his Northwest Portland apartment designs, and a housing crunch during World War II led to the conversion of many classic homes into multi-family units. Tour begins at NW 22nd Avenue and Kearney Street. 11AM Sunday, August 16. $20 ($12 for AHC members).
Walking tour: Skidmore-Old Town Historic District
Learn about some of the oldest buildings in the city and the people who built them in this Architectural Heritage Center tour of Portland’s only National Historic Landmark District. The area also contains the highest concentration of cast-iron fronted buildings on the west coast and much of that iron was even produced locally. Tour meets at Skidmore Fountain, SW First Avenue and Ankeny Street. 6PM Wednesday, August 19 and 6PM Wednesday, August 26. $20 ($12 for AHC members).
UNITE: Retail Design
Design Museum Portland's ongoing UNITE discussion series continues with a panel talking about retail design. Panelists include Stacy Day of Design Within Reach, Andee Hess of Osmose Design, Nike's Kimberly Yeager, and Suzy Alexander of ACME Scenic & Display. Pioneer Place, 700 SW Fifth Avenue. 6:30PM Wednesday, August 19. $10 (free for DMP members).
Tour: June Key Delta Community Center
Led by the American Institute of Architects/Portland chapter's Committee on the Environment, the tour features the June Key Delta Community Center, which first opened its doors in August 2011 in a redeveloped gas station that repurposed shipping containers and other construction materials. The 2,700 building is registered with the Living Building Challenge. A rehabilitated brownfield, i is paved with permeable pavers and includes bioswales to divert stormwater, a garden, and even water collection for toilet flushing. Energy efficient features include insulated windows, increased insulation, shading, and a heat pump system. Recently, the project installed a 20Kw solar array system on the roof to continue its commitment to the Living Building Challenge. June Key Delta Community Center, 5940 N Albina Street. 11:30AM Thursday, August 20. $15 ($10 for AIA members).
Walking tour: Terra Cotta Downtown
As this Architectural Heritage Center tour will demonstrate, downtown Portland’s collection of terra cotta-clad buildings (including the Jackson Tower, pictured above) is one of the finest in the nation, exemplifying the popularity of this building material during the early decades of the 20th century. The concentration of these buildings, designed by the likes of architect AE Doyle, also shows us how, by 1910, the city’s central business district had moved west of Fourth Avenue. Tour meets at Pioneer Courthouse Square, on SW Broadway above the fountain. 6PM Thursday, August 20. $20 ($12 for AHC members).
Walking tour: Pearl District - Preservation In the Midst of Change
Over the last 20 years, the Pearl District has been transformed from industrial enclave and rail yards into one of Portland’s most popular residential, cultural and retail districts. A century ago, the area went through a similar transformation, from a working class housing area at the edge of a marsh to the city’s biggest industrial and warehousing area. Many of Portland’s best known architects of the period designed buildings for important local and national companies. Most of these buildings remain, with their exteriors intact, and new uses inside. But as the pending demolition of the Pacific Northwest College of Art's Feldman Building (a renovated old warehouse) reminds us, the current wave of development could threaten more historic buildings. Tour meets at southeast corner of NW 10th Avenue and Johnson Street. 10AM Saturday, August 22. $20 ($12 for AHC members).
Behind the Scenes at the Rayworth House
Join Restore Oregon for a special behind-the-scenes look at a historic home restoration in progress. The ca. 1890 Edwin Rayworth House, recently relocated to avoid demolition, is in the midst of a full scale restoration at its new location in North Portland’s Piedmont neighborhood. Location undisclosed. 1PM Saturday, August 22. $18 ($15 for Restore Oregon members).
Walking tour: Belmont-Sunnyside Neighborhood
The Sunnyside neighborhood along SE Belmont Street contains a wonderful mix of late 19th and early 20th century homes, as this Architectural Heritage Center tour will show, along with fantastic streetcar-era commercial buildings as well as public buildings like the historic Belmont fire station. Tour meets at Sunnyside School Park, SE 35th Avenue and Yamhill Street. 6PM Thursday, August 27. $20 ($12 for AHC members).
Walking tour: Downtown Sacred Spaces
A rare opportunity to peek inside several historic downtown houses of worship, including the First Presbyterian, First Baptist, First Congregational, First Christian and the Sixth Church of Christ Scientist. Along the way in this Architectural Heritage Center tour, attendees will see an array of stained glass created by the acclaimed Povey Brothers and learn about the variety of architectural styles that these sacred spaces embody. Tour meets outside First Presbyterian Church, SW 12th Avenue and Alder Street. 12PM Sunday, August 30. $20 ($12 for AHC members).