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this is a very cool building - the spaces epitomize the loft ideal. tall ceilings, brick walls and large industrial sash. the tough thing about this building though is that it is bordered by two busy streets, which hurts the street facing storefronts. This does not give the retail much chance for cars to stop and pop in and browse. On S.E. 7th parking is allowed during non-rush hours, which might help improve it's presence. The clusters of retail along division and Clinton, and 12th might draw in people by foot, and certainly a worthy contribution to the hip S.E. enclaves. We certainly need more and more projects like this. Eastbank Lofts, Portland Storage, B&O, are all good examples, and other eastside haunts are ready to be part of that realm. One day the city will parlay development, housing, incubator and creative flex spaces within the eastside industrial sanctuary to ponder the view of the city and the river and take advantage of strong existing buildings like this one.

Mike Thelin

It took me a minute to understand your headline, but once I did, it produced a good laugh. I remember that jingle.

I went to an art opening in this building a few months back and was pretty impressed with the renovations, and the contribution that the tenants are making to the building and the surrounding area.


I was able to go inside this building a couple of years ago as renovations were first getting underway. It's amazing the detail and care that were put into such an industrial building. Of course, the Ford building was designed by A.E. Doyle (or at least his firm), so in some respects the quality of workmanship is not surprising.

I don't think any Edsels or Falcons were ever built here as Ford let go of the building (if I remember correctly)around the start of World War II. After that it served as an OLCC outlet and warehouse, before becoming the home of Binford & Mort publishing (aka Metropolitain Printing), and finally, it was owned by Multnomah County until they offloaded it 5 or so years ago.

My understanding is that the Ford Building was linked underground to the smaller building across 11th where until recently there has long been a repair shop. Parts would come in by rail directly into this smaller building, they were unloaded and then taken to the assembly lines in the main structure. If you walk around the back of that smaller building on 11th you'll see rail lines leading between two buildings - and a rail car still sitting there! Its not a Ford-era rail car, however. Starting on the ground floor, each floor of the Ford Building contained a different part of the assembly line process - and I once heard that the building's roof was built to withstand extreme weight and finished Model T's were stored there! Of course the now-vacant corner was a showroom and it's unfortunate that the wonderful hex tile was not restored during the renovation - it was everywhere in that front corner portion of the building.

I just wish it still had its water tower.

Frank Dufay

It's a redevelopment project our neighborhood is proud of.

metal buildings

I hope they didn't leave significant traces of arsenic, sulfur and other poisonous chemicals in the area.

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