Portland, Oregon is known for it’s hyper liberal attitude and mottos like “Keep Portland Wierd.” Well there are some groups out there that want to change that motto to “Keep Portland Restored.” While there are typically many causes going on in the Pacific Northwest’s second largest city, one of the biggest in recent time is the task of preserving some of Portland’s oldest historical sites. These sites may include some of the Portland Mid-Century modern homes like the infamous Rummer Homes. The organization Restore Oregon, formerly known as the Historic Preservation League of Oregon, is on a mission to rehabilitate the worthy historical sites throughout the Portland area in order to preserve these structures for decades and generations to come.
New Construction is the Great Opposition
This quest has not come without opposition. Portland City density laws and builder redevelopment have caused a record number of demolitions in recent years. Tension between neighbors and builder’s is fueled by a housing shortage, record relocations to the area and a strict urban growth boundary.
At Urbanvue we have an admiration for the redevelopment and gentrification of the city, but also feel it is our duty to preserve what we can, especially when it comes to historically significant homes and buildings.
The Benefits of Restoration
Besides the obvious, there are many great ancillary reasons to restore historical sites around the Portland area, the first of which being the creation of new jobs. Building rehabilitation actually creates more jobs than manufacturing, logging, or new construction with 60 percent of the expenses going toward paying for labor rather than paying for materials.
Tourism is another benefit to these restoration projects. Historic sites around the city attract 83 percent of tourists on a yearly basis.
Another great element of restoring these historic sites around the Portland area is the livability it creates. With buildings being restored with high quality materials and craftsmanship, both housing and businesses can occupy the spaces and bring life back into these worn down areas.
Hammer & Hand
One of the more promising ventures in the task of restoring historical areas of Portland is the residential work of the remodeling and construction company, Hammer & Hand. Working side by side with Buckenmeyer Architecture, these construction companies are restoring old homes around the Portland area and bringing new life to run down structures.
One of their recent examples was adding 460 square feet onto an already existing home for a family getting too big for the space. Hammer & Hand, along with Buckenmeyer, turned the bedroom at the back of the house into a living room containing a kitchenette with the new addition having a walk in closet. They also created enough space in the existing garage to accommodate the family’s two cars.
The Restore Oregon group is also very proactive at getting their message out and holding many events in order to educate the public and grow their forces. One of the biggest events comes in April with the 2015 Oregon Heritage Conference with the purpose of teaching the public about historic preservation and why they should be concerned about it.
Restore Oregon is on a quest to preserve the Portland area and with the help of companies like Urbanvue, Hammer & Hand, Buckenmeyer Architecture, and the support of people like you, they are well on their way to making a difference in the area and saving some of these great places.