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Wow, that building is amazing. Looking at those photos makes me want to go back to art school again (after they move in, that is).


Thanks so much for the tour!

I am sad to be stuck in Eugene with all these great things going on back home in Portland. I don't drive so i don't get back up as much as I'd like.

I am glad to have Portland Architecture as a way to keep up with the news in Historic Preservation and Architecture back home.


Brian, I thought the parking lot was already slated to be turned over to the city for the North Park Blocks extension? Seems to me the city will find the money. Is this in the 'Pearl' URD? They are pretty flush with cash and could make the park a reality.

Love the pics of the building. Always had an appreciation of it since I first stood in front of it during a protest march when Bush launched his war. While everyone else was yelling at the fact it was a federal building, and the department that occupied it, I was standing in awe thinking some day, this could be something special. That day arrived sooner than I thought!


Thanks for this article. The brilliant W+K design preserved the only shell and some interior wood structure, painted out white. The 511 is a much greater challenge. If Allied can subtly lighten the design, incorporating the historic detail, it will open the firm to work internationally with classical structures. Think the Louvre update and the Smithsonian Renwick by Foster. It's hard for renovations to stand the test of time, if they can, the rewards in reputation are great.

The challenge for the school is to maintain a spirit of exploration and innovation within the Zeitgeist of the building's visual and material language.


Question, isn't this like asking an English only speaker to rewrite the original Hebrew bible in Hebrew? I hear all the time how today's architects work in a different language then those in the past. Does an architect so fully immersed in one language have the ability to actually understand another? I work in an older building now that at some point all the beautiful detailing was covered over with sheet rock to give it a "clean" look.
The bones of the W & K was a perfect fit because it was basically a bare slate with little detailing. The 511 building is filled with the little things that are so hard to find in today's architecture. Lets hope we don't lose those in the translation.


Hopefully they'll look at "15 Westminster" in Providence a very similar multi-story Beaux-Arts building that was also converted to use for an art school (RISD) in that case with Office dA architects.

Robert Campbell on the renovation in 2006:

Duo Gard

Sounds like an amazing building that does not deserve to be a drab office. Glad to hear things are being done to restore it to its past with a modern twist.

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