Friday, April 10, 2009

Bosco and Milligan, the foresight behind Portland's Architectural Heritage Center

Sorry that I've cut off part of the caption, but I felt it necessary to try to make the photo larger than the other size. Here's the caption: Jerry Bosco and Ben Milligan with some of their artifacts, 1986. Photo courtesy of The Oregonian.

Mr. Bosco was Marsha's ceramics teacher in high school. She remembers him fondly and is very thankful for his awakening in her a deeply felt appreciation for Portland's architecture, both that which still exits and that which is gone.

Almost each piece in the photo is on display underneath it.

Recently the AHC honored Bosco and Milligan with a show highlighting their wide-ranging efforts. Marsha and I viewed it on the day that we attended the lecture on architect Joseph Jacobberger.

My favorite artifact on display, the Ladd's Block Wolf Head ... from the Victorian Gothic building at SW 1st and Columbia, built in 1881. It is galvanized metal. Donated by Christopher Boyd

Here's some background info from the AHC Web site:
"History of the Bosco-Milligan Foundation & the Architectural Heritage Center
For more than a decade, the Bosco-Milligan Foundation’s strong, ongoing commitment to preserving our regional architectural heritage has been based on the belief that vintage buildings and traditional neighborhoods are essential to the vitality and identity of our communities. Established in Portland, Oregon in1987, the Bosco-Milligan Foundation is one of Oregon’s most active non-profit historic preservation organizations. Our founders knew that when one historic building is lost, a piece of our history is gone forever.

The Architectural Heritage Center began as a vision of two remarkable men, Jerry Bosco and Ben Milligan, and is their legacy to historic preservation in Portland and the Northwest. Alarmed by the tragic destruction of historic buildings throughout the region, Bosco and Milligan salvaged countless architectural pieces which would otherwise have been lost to the wrecking ball. From the 1950s – 1980s, they collected a truly awe-inspiring treasure trove of historic stained glass windows, building hardware, doors, light fixtures and shades, tiles, mantles, cast iron, and countless other historic building elements. The National Park Service documents that the Bosco-Milligan Foundation's collections are the largest in the West and among the five largest in the United States. Our collections distinguish us from other historic preservation organizations in the western U.S.

Prior to their passing, Jerry Bosco and Ben Milligan established the Bosco-Milligan Foundation to fulfill their vision of a place where their collections could be used in education and training programs. Our vision of renovating the historic West's Block Building - constructed in 1883 at 701 SE Grand Avenue in Portland’s Central eastside - to house the Architectural Heritage Center was completed with the Center’s opening in 2005. The Center includes two exhibition galleries, two classrooms, workshop space, a library, collections storage spaces and the Foundation's offices. Our public historic preservation programming has increased four-fold at our “home base” and we have served the needs of more than 40,000 people, beginning in 1992. With continued progress on the professional inventory and documentation of the collections, public access will be expanded beyond the rotating exhibits in our galleries. The Architectural Heritage Center is a significant historic preservation education facility for the Portland region and plays an important role in celebrating and advocating for the architectural heritage of our city and region.

Meeting a Vital Community Need
The Portland area's rich diversity of vintage buildings defines the character of our community, and how it looks and feels both to long-time residents and newcomers alike. Our local history is irrevocably tied to these buildings, which stand as physical testaments to the hopes, dreams and talents of those who came before us. This is our architectural heritage - the built environment - which is vital to the fabric of our neighborhoods and community identity.

Growth and development pressures, deterioration, and unsuitable alterations threaten our building heritage throughout the region. The problem is compounded when people are unaware of knowledgeable craftspeople and lack knowledge of good preservation practices that need to be followed to take care for our historic buildings. With the appropriate resources and training, people go on to practice quality building preservation and restoration.

At the Architectural Heritage Center, we provide people with these resources throughout the year: teaching architectural traditions, styles, materials and building techniques, offering hands-on training in restoration, and ongoing outreach programs to the general public. We work to proactively promote a greater understanding and appreciation of preserving our building heritage.

Our programs and exhibits forge the link between people and places, between buildings of the past and the living communities of today. The Architectural Heritage Center – the physical facility and the resources within it – provides a unique and dynamic learning environment for people today and for generations to come."

Model of the West's Block Building that houses the AHC.

701 SE Grand Ave.(Grand & Alder)
Description, intended for those who might want to rent any of the space.
The Architectural Heritage Center is a beautiful venue to host a unique event for business colleagues,family and friends! Owned and operated by the non-profit Bosco-Milligan Foundation, the AHC is a resource center and showcase for historic preservation. Located in the authentically renovated West's Block Building (1883), it is the oldest surviving commercial building in Portland's central eastside Grand Avenue Historic District. With two exhibit galleries, two large classrooms for meetings or parties, and a private conference room, the Center provides a special experience for your guests. All rentals include access to the galleries, which feature exhibitions that change quarterly. We are happy to work with each client individually to meet your event needs and budget. Combining a sense of history with all the modern amenties, we hope you'll consider the AHC for your next event.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh my. These people did a wonderful service. Keeping stuff like this out of the dump is a worthwhile thing to do. It is a great post.