Architectural Heritage Center

The Oregon Rail Heritage Center: Rescuing Oregon’s Railroad History
Jan 18-2020

The Oregon Rail Heritage Center: Rescuing Oregon’s Railroad History

Portland’s railroad heritage includes three steam locomotives donated to the city in the 1950s. These engines sat adjacent to Oaks Park until 1974, when the first of the three, Southern Pacific 4449, was restored to pull the American Freedom Train in celebration of the US Bicentennial. Eventually 4449 and the other locomotives were moved to […]

Architectural Heritage Center
Thresholds and the Liminal: A Tale of Three Portland Landmarks
Jan 25-2020

Thresholds and the Liminal: A Tale of Three Portland Landmarks

When we say “threshold” we usually think of that physical crossing one steps over while moving from one place to another. A threshold, however, might also be a point of departure as we move from one architectural era to another, and in doing so, find new and even different interpretations. Liminal, refers to that place […]

Architectural Heritage Center
Railroad Architecture and the Northwest: Economics, Ethos, and Culture
Feb 8-2020

Railroad Architecture and the Northwest: Economics, Ethos, and Culture

Railways were one of the driving forces in the settlement and urbanization of the United States. Through their station buildings, they left a profound architectural legacy on the country. Yet these buildings are more than set pieces of artistic achievement. From humble wooden depots that pioneered the concept of franchise architecture to grand urban depots […]

Architectural Heritage Center
Merchants and Markets Tour
Mar 3-2020

Merchants and Markets Tour

Portland’s late-19th century commercial district offers a plethora of interesting architecture as well as a fascinating history. This merchants and markets tour is packed with stories of Portlanders who made their mark as merchants and developers, and their buildings. You’ll learn about the Willamette’s first bridge, the first public market, and our first Chinatown, as […]

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The Pearl District: A Century of Preservation and Change Tour
Mar 10-2020

The Pearl District: A Century of Preservation and Change Tour

Transformed from an outdated and tired industrial area into one of Portland’s premier residential and retail neighborhoods, the Pearl is truly one of the city’s gems. A century ago, the area went through a similar transformation—from a working class housing neighborhood at the edge of a marsh, to an area primarily used for industry and […]

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“Number Please”: Portland and the Architecture of the Telephone Exchange
Mar 14-2020

“Number Please”: Portland and the Architecture of the Telephone Exchange

During the first several decades in the history of telecommunications, the constantly evolving technology created a need for telephone operators to connect callers and large buildings to house both workers and equipment. Things changed, however, by the by the mid-20th century as rotary dial equipment replaced the friendly voices of the telephone operators. The buildings […]

Architectural Heritage Center
Downtown Portland’s “North End” Tour
Mar 17-2020

Downtown Portland’s “North End” Tour

Explore the abundant architectural and cultural history in the downtown “North End” neighborhood that bridges Old Town and the Pearl District. Along the way you’ll see 19th century gems, like the Mariner’s Home which has been rehabilitated and turned into the Society Hotel. You’ll also learn how the area became New Chinatown, and Japantown, and […]

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South Park Blocks Tour
Mar 24-2020

South Park Blocks Tour

The South Park Blocks – an 11-block downtown area – were first platted and donated to the City of Portland in 1852. By the 1880s the strip of land that once served as a fire break had been transformed into one of the most desirable neighborhoods in the city – complete with schools, playgrounds, stately […]

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The New Deal’s Local Legacy
Mar 28-2020

The New Deal’s Local Legacy

The New Deal’s Local Legacy: Pioneering Historic Preservation and a Landscape Aesthetic Timberline Lodge provides lasting evidence that beauty could result from the country’s greatest economic crisis. While Timberline is the best known of the Depression era’s Oregon projects, further examination of the New Deal’s long list of agencies produces impressive evidence of a legacy […]

Architectural Heritage Center
Broadway and Mid-Town Tour
Mar 31-2020

Broadway and Mid-Town Tour

Beginning in the 1890s, the area downtown between Southwest Broadway and Ninth Avenue, underwent a dramatic change from a residential neighborhood on the edge of town to a bustling commercial and cultural district. This Broadway and Mid-Town Tour takes a look at what are today, some of the most well recognized and architecturally significant buildings […]

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