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Great article. I've had two opportunities to be in the building in the past year and I'm simply overwhelmed by the square footage and open feel of it. I cannot wait until all the drop ceilings are removed.

I look forward to seeing this building come to life again and I hope the new occupants recognize the historical significance of the structure and treat it like the jewel it is.


Thanks for this article. I left Portland about 20 years ago but the US Custom House was always one of my favorite buildings in town and I'm glad to see its finally being put back to use. It looks like the building was well preserved so it should have lots of original character. However, it is a real shame that a seismic upgrade is not part of the project. Maybe I shouldn't expect much from GBD Architects but if they were truly concerned about the health, safety and welfare of the public they would insist on a seismic upgrade - anything less is irresponsible. The 'wait and see' approach to evaluate how the building will perform in an earthquake is ridiculous and it will likely kill anyone working in the building. There are examples of load bearing masonry buildings collapsing in earthquakes all over the world and this one will be no different. Historic preservation on the west coast that does not include seismic upgrades is both dangerous and not fulfilling the goals of preservation.

Fred Leeson

I have no affiliation with GBD or Peter Meijer architects. It is unfair to suggest that it is THEIR decision not to do seismic work. That was the order from the client building owner. (I suppose the architects could refuse and let someone else do the work...) Ownership has its prerogatives, for better or worse.

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