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Summer Road Trip through Restoration

Follow along on this local tour of historic buildings in Portland that have been restored with the utmost care and craftsmanship.

Presented by Arciform July 20, 2020

Join ARCIFORM and Versatile Wood Products for a delightful drive in a vintage 1950 Mercedes 170S Cabriolet A through Portland’s architectural history.

Here’s a map of the route. If you’d prefer to walk instead of drive, a walking tour of the first five locations takes just over an hour!

Union Station in Portland

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Union Station first began operation in 1896. Designed in Queen Anne style with Romanesque detail by the Boston architectural firm Van Brunt and Howe and constructed of an elegant blend of brick, stucco, and sandstone, the station has been a central hub of transportation for the past 100 years. Between 1927 and 1930, the concourse was modernized by Pietro Belluschi, with subsequent modifications made to the building and adjacent streets to suit advances in transportation. In 2010, Versatile Wood Products was hired to restore all 284 of Union Station’s wood windows and the new entry doors. A team of specialists carefully selected both new and old wood for the replacement windows and door to ensure historic authenticity. Ornate casing and other trim elements were custom-milled in Versatile Wood Products’ workshop and seamlessly integrated into the existing architecture by ARCIFORM’s restoration team.

Wickersham Building in Portland, Oregon

Built in 1910, the Wickersham Building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is notable for its quality craftsmanship, decorative brickwork, and projecting bay windows. Versatile Wood Products referenced the original look and custom-built a wider door and narrower sidelite, solving entryway issues. The mahogany door integrated an electric strike plate for the fob key entry system.

The Old Church in Portland, Oregon

This beautiful Carpenter Gothic–style building was designed by Warren H. Williams, whose Victorian-era architectural style can be seen in 50 Portland-area structures, including the Fried-Durkheimer House, which has also been restored by ARCIFORM. Built in 1882, The Old Church was restored in the late 1970s. Versatile built six redwood doors that were each 2.25 inches thick, duplicating the original construction of tongue-and-groove planks and panels. The Old Church now serves as a nonprofit that hosts hundreds of artistic and cultural programs each year. The ARCIFORM team also designed a ticket booth and a weather vane as their part of this important restoration.

Harlow Hotel in Portland, Oregon

The Harlow Hotel was built in 1882 by Captain John Harlow, a prominent Portland businessman. Harlow was a sea captain from Maine, who came to Oregon in 1849. As one of the founders of Troutdale, Oregon, Harlow opened up the trout farms that gave Troutdale its name. Built in brick and inspired by Italianate style, the Harlow Hotel is the second-oldest commercial building remaining in Northwest Portland and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Years of neglect had left the structure in need of extensive repair, with ferns growing out of the masonry and rain pouring in through the roof.

ARCIFORM was hired as the primary preservation contractor and worked with Versatile Wood Products to reproduce historical elements as needed. New entryway systems, including recessed entryways that needed to fit with existing cast iron columns, were custom-made by Versatile and installed by ARCIFORM. In the second phase, Versatile crafted interior doors for the guest rooms, café, and courtyard areas. Versatile also replicated the few surviving windows with insulated glass for sound and weather performance and installed new interior transom windows above the guest room doors. The hotel was reopened for business in 2019.

To continue reading, and to join us for our entire Summer Road Trip Series, click here.

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