Advocacy: Portland Building Reconstruction

The City of Portland is currently planning a reconstruction of the Portland Public Service Building, the iconic administrative building for the city designed by Michael Graves. Since 2011 the building has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. As noted in the nomination, the building “is notable as the first major Post-Modern work to be completed, instantly making it an icon of a movement.”

Docomomo Oregon supports much of what is being proposed, however has concerns about the following aspects of the project:

• The installation of an Aluminum Composite Material (ACM) rainscreen cladding over the original painted concrete exterior. The new cladding will alter the proportions of the building and has a fundamentally different material quality.
• The use of new terracotta tiles that will be twice as large as the original tiles.
Infill at the parking entry and loggias, which obscure the original composition of the building.
• Addition of new highly visible rooftop mechanical equipment.
Potential loss of significant interior spaces.


Email comments to City of Portland Senior Planner Hillary Adam, at
View the mock-up of the aluminum rainscreen cladding system proposed for the Portland Building. The mock-up is installed at the top of the 14th floor parapet at the south end of the east facing façade.
Provide comments at the meeting of the Portland Historic Landmarks Commission. The reconstruction project will up presented for approval on June 26th 2017 at 1:30 PM. The hearing will be held in the Lincoln Room of the CH2M Hill Center at 2020 SW 4th Ave.


• Full drawings for the Portland Building Reconstruction [115MB PDF]
• Docomomo Oregon’s Letter to the Portland Historic Landmarks Commission
Staff Report And Recommendation To The Historic Landmarks Commission [recommending approval]
• National Parks Service Letter to Oregon State Historic Preservation Office, noting the potential for the building to bed removed from the National Register