SW 3rd & Ash Receives Design Advice (images)


The Historic Landmarks Commission has given Design Advice to GBD Architects for a mixed-used development at SW 3rd and Ash St in downtown Portland. The project is one of the Goodman family-owned ‘Ankeny Blocks’ proposed for redevelopment earlier this year. According to drawings submitted to the city, the building includes approximately 9,000 sq. feet of retail space on the ground floor, a mix of studio and 1-bedroom residential units on the upper floors, and a rooftop amenity space. Vehicular parking will be provided in a below grade parking garage. Bicycle rooms are proposed in the basement and at the ground floor.


The project sits on the north half of the block bounded by SW 2nd Ave, 3rd Ave and Ash Street, in the Skidmore/Old Town historic district. The site is currently being used for surface parking.


The design of the building’s exterior differs quite a bit from the drawings submitted for the Pre-Application Conference in June. The design consists primarily of brick, with the structure split into different volumes that suggest the appearance of separate buildings. An L-shaped section of large windows splits up the portion of the building fronting SW Ash St. The Historic Landmarks Commission seemed divided on the usefulness of the glass section, with some suggesting that it doesn’t agree with the rest of the building. One commissioner noted that it makes it appear as though it’s a glass building with a brick veneer over a portion of the structure.


The Commission also expressed reservations about the developer’s plan to use vinyl windows in the building, which commissioners felt was inappropriate for a historic district. Higher quality materials were suggested in order to better fit in with surrounding buildings. Commissioners also recommended taking steps to minimize the visibility of solar panels on the southwestern corner of the roof, which may be visible from the street.

Since it is within the Skidmore/Old Town historic district, the project will be required to go through a Type III Historic Resource Review, which includes a public hearing.


2 thoughts on “SW 3rd & Ash Receives Design Advice (images)

  1. Pretty impressed at the rendered bike riders who brought a Citi Bike all the way over here from NYC…

    That aside, I like the building. The way the glass section divides the building volume works pretty well, I think.

  2. it’d be great to know how many people in Portland object to seeing solar panels, even in a historic district.
    Honestly, does anyone have that survey result?

    I also like the glass section. Feels like a thoughtful way to spice up the contextual brick building with a modest nod to the current day – which I’m guessing is probably precisely why the historic landmarks commission didn’t like it. One day maybe the local historic commission’s design objective will align with the federal and European design objectives that can mix and match historic and contemporary architecture styles. A guy can dream…

Leave a Reply