The Design Commission has approved a major renovation of downtown’s Fliedner Building. The core and shell renovation is being designed by Jones Architecture, for building owner Singer Properties. The project will include a seismic upgrade and the insertion of a new exit stair, which will allow the currently vacant upper floors to be converted to office space. Two new landscaped roofs courts will be added at the top of the building. Exterior work will include stucco and terracotta repairs, new paint, and replacement of existing windows with new wood windows.
The Fliedner building was built in 1923. It was extensively remodeled by architect Richard Sundeleaf in 1931 in a “zig zag moderne” style. When surveyed [PDF] as part of the City’s 1984 Historic Resources Inventory the building was given a Rank III designation, indicating that it may be eligible for listing in the National Register as part of a Historic District. The building is not presently landmarked or listed on the National Register.
An existing entry facing SW Washington will be remodeled to serve as the main door to the newly created office space.
On SW 10th Avenue the northern retail bay will be remodeled to provide egress from the new stair core, and to serve as an entry to the basement. The basement, which has never previously been built out, will include bike storage and a large shell space for a restaurant / bar.
The project was approved by the Design Commission on August 17th, at its first hearing. In the Final Findings and Decision by the Design Commission [PDF] the alterations were found to “retain its historic aesthetic while making the building seismically resilient”:
The proposed alterations to the Fliedner Building are an opportunity for a building that contributes historic context and craftsmanship to the central city to be modernized for contemporary use while retaining its character and significant architectural features. The rehabilitation of a significant building in a highly foot-trafficked neighborhood of Portland’s downtown will bring renewed energy to the area. The detailing and materials of the proposed alterations are designed to be compatible with the building and neighborhood. The rooftop additions will ensure the building’s continued use and preservation while being minimally visible from the public way. The window replacements and cladding rehabilitation will restore the building to an approximation of its original condition. The ground floor alterations will provide access that will allow the building to be occupied above the ground level and will preserve as much of the historic condition as possible given the needs created by the expectations of modern occupants as well as by the standards of contemporary building code. The design review process exists to promote the conservation, enhancement, and continued vitality of areas of the City with special scenic, architectural, or cultural value. The proposal will allow the Fliedner Building to retain its historic aesthetic while making the building seismically resilient and allowing the now-vacant upper four floors to be occupied. The alterations will have a relatively minimal visual impact to pedestrians while helping to preserve the building and allowing it to continue its important role in contributing to the character of downtown.
Building permits will need to be obtained before construction can begin on site.