Building the Future of Historic Preservation: Teaching a Course on Building Preservation Plans

Nestled on a hilltop above Skyline Boulevard in Southwest Portland, the Aubrey Watzek House sits quietly, almost as a suspended moment of early modernism just minutes from downtown Portland. The Watzek House, designed by renowned Oregon architect John Yeon and built in 1937, is his masterpiece in wood and the precursor to Pacific Northwest Regional Modernism. The house is now owned by the University of Oregon’s College of Design.

This famous house has carefully articulated use guidelines — and designation as a National Historic Landmark and a local City of Portland landmark. But the house, like any aging structure, is showing its susceptibility to age and the Pacific Northwest elements. While a roof replacement is planned for the short term, the Watzek House requires a long-term preservation plan that takes a proactive approach to anticipating, planning for, and implementing maintenance and repairs that retain the historic building’s integrity. A comprehensive look at the building’s current condition, use, and its future is also long overdue. This need is the impetus behind a graduate-level historic preservation planning course taught by principal David Wark and associate Carin Carlson at the University of Oregon’s School of Architecture & Environment Historic Preservation Program.

A group of historic preservation planning students stand on the lawn outside of a the Aubrey Watzek House, an example of Pacific Northwest regional Modernism.
Students outside the Aubrey Watzek House in Portland, Ore.

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Portland Art Museum Expansion Enhances Accessibility and Connection to City

Portland firm Hennebery Eddy Architects draws on local urban design, regulatory and historic preservation experience, collaborates with Chicago-based Vinci Hamp Architects for design of Rothko Pavilion

Sketch of one conceptual option for the Rothko Pavilion. The design supports the museum’s goals of new and enhanced art, program and public space.
Sketch of one conceptual option for the Rothko Pavilion.

The Portland Art Museum and its acclaimed collections will become more accessible to both visitors and passersby through the design of its new Rothko Pavilion. The pavilion, an addition announced in 2016, will connect the Museum’s existing Main and Mark buildings and add 30,000 square feet of community and exhibition space. The updated expansion design concept incorporates the existing Madison Street passageway between 10th and Park Avenues into a sheltered, public passageway with views into the community commons and Museum gallery spaces. Portland architecture firm Hennebery Eddy Architects is collaborating with Chicago-based Vinci Hamp Architects on the design; their work evolves the original 2015 concept to advance the museum’s goals of new and enhanced art, program and public space, and increased accessibility within and through the museum, as well as support Portland’s urban landscape.

“This expansion is an exciting opportunity to add and improve spaces for art and education as well as increase access to the renowned cultural treasures and programs of the Portland Art Museum,” said Brian Ferriso, The Marilyn H. and Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr. Director and Chief Curator of the Museum.

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Portland Art Museum selects Hennebery Eddy Architects as Architect of Record for museum renovation & expansion

The Portland Art Museum has selected Hennebery Eddy Architects as the Architect of Record for the museum’s renovation and expansion to provide enhanced access to the museum for people of all ages, including those with disabilities.

The project is currently in a due diligence, pre-design, and fundraising phase. Hennebery Eddy will collaborate with the Design Architect, Vinci Hamp Architects of Chicago, to develop the scope of work for the project and to refine design concepts first unveiled in 2015.

The art museum design concept articulates a connections-driven campus with the proposed new Rothko Pavilion at its center. More information can be found on the museum’s project website.