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It's not located in the Alphabet Historic District. It is located in the Northwest Plan District, but not the portion of the Plan District within Alphabet Historic District. Therefore the overlay zoning on the site is the design overlay, not the historic resource protection overlay. Thus the land use review that approved the project was a design review (DZ), not a historic resource review (HR). Not being in a designated Historic District perhaps somewhat lightens the burden of "fitting in" that you describe in the first paragraph. This distinction between design review on a a site with design overlay zoning versus historic resource review on a site with historic resource protection overlay zoning is an incredibly important distinction.

Brian Libby

Dennis, thank you for sharing this information about design review and overlay zoning. When I wrote about fitting in, I wasn't necessarily referring to zoning strictures. I meant it in a more general sense. Had I broadened the post to talk about zoning strictures, it would have been, like you said, an incredibly important distinction. My intent with the piece was to talk about the architecture more from a stylistic point of view, and the points I made about fitting in were more in that regard. But again, your attention to zoning and historic districts makes for an excellent addition to the conversation.

David D

The reference to the railing detail at the Oregon College of Art and Craft is quite fitting as the skin of Overton 19 acts much like a "fence" (perhaps even prison bars?) and less a grove of trees. This is especially true viewing the building at most angles where the vertical elements merge together and most traces of transparency disappear. By one measure, good architecture reflects the human. If that is true this building is very alien indeed.


I think the building is quite nice. In fact, I've been very impressed with most of the work that this firm has been producing, especially the new one on Division and 33rd which is elegant and understated and uses a modest palette of materials very effectively.


"Overton 19 doesn’t look quite like anything else in Works’ portfolio that I’ve seen"

The Workforce Housing study. It's basically the same exact facade scaled down to hilarious effect. A one-liner in either case. The bowstring house right next door is pretty sublime though. Funny, the contrast.

David D

Right Andy. The workforce housing was proposed for the Lloyd district super block infill. The vertical elements are much more effective with the taller massing. They also act as a direct play and response with the existing context of adjacent modernist towers. At Overton, they read as concept overpowering the architecture--overwrought and out of place. I agree the bowstring house is a wonderful example of strong design elements achieving an elegant and contextual result.

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