Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Some of what I saw, No. 6

As you may know, on May 14 I took part in an Architectural Heritage Center event, a Walking Tour of Portland’s Yamhill Historic District and Beyond. We began at Lownsdale Square and walked for an hour and a half, looking here and there, listening to our guide, Morgen Young of the AHC.

Our first stop turned out to be a building which I have loved for years. While the Portland’s Transit Mall, essentially the spinal column—the nerves and supporting bones of TriMet was being renovated between 2007 and 2009, I caught my first homeward bound bus right across the street from it. Here's Walt Lockley’s online information and photos about the Ancient Order of United Workmen and the Temple.

Here are my photos, taken on May 14 during the walk unless otherwise noted.
The Temple is so large that I would have had to walk away from the group to get all of it in the photo--I didn't want to miss what our guide told us about the building. Seems like I remember some of the women on the walk saying that they used to go dancing in this building, back in the day.

She certainly solved a mystery for me--the capital U on that sign. I've seen it here and there in Portland and wondered what it could mean--my doofus guess at first that it was a way to mark a secret door to some sort of club, but as I saw more and more of them, I abandoned that idea. And how secret could a door be with that large orange U on it? Morgen explained that it's for firemen so that they will know that entering through the marked door is unsafe. Hmmm.


The six-story building was built in 1892, designed by architect Justus F. Krumbein. It's address is 915 SW 2nd Avenue. The style is Romanesque, at least that's what it says beneath a photo I found online. It also says this: "Rights © University of Oregon. This image is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/us/ ). Acknowledgement of the University of Oregon Libraries as a source is required.. All Rights Reserved." Here’s a link to the photo. It’s worth taking time to click on it—you get a look at it from a different perspective.

I took this photo in February, 2010, from a parking garage. There on the left you see the west-facing wall of the Temple, with bricked-in windows and fire escapes.

And here's the south-facing wall in a photo taken in July, 2008.

Here’s more online information about the Temple, from 2005.

Here's the description of the walking tour from www.visitahc.org.

Portland’s Yamhill National Register Historic District contains some of the earliest remaining buildings in downtown. Among them are fantastic 19th century buildings like the Poppleton, known for the whimsical faces on its upper façade. Just beyond the boundaries of the district are several more architectural gems, designed by notable architects such as Warren H. Williams, Whidden and Lewis, David Lewis, and Cass Gilbert.

This tour, developed by AHC Education Committee chair Morgen Young, explores the interesting history and architecture of the Yamhill Historic District and the nearby historic buildings of SW Second and Third avenues of Portland, Oregon. We did go beyond this area on our walk--superb!

Here's the map of the portion of downtown that the City of Portland considers as the Yamhill Historic District.


Morgen said...

Great photos! Loved having you on the tour - your interest and enthusiasm are always so welcomed. Looking forward to seeing you on future tours this summer.

Ed H. said...

Dang! Good timing! I work across the street from this building, and was just starting to look up some information on it - and low-and-behold, you wrote this a week ago!

Thanks, those are wonderful photos and links. I just LOVE the look of that building, it just needs some TLC.

Lynette said...

Neat, Ed H.! I'm very happy that this post pleased you! I love finding stuff like this myself when I'm looking around for info--it's a whole lot of fun!

Anonymous said...

I always loved and was facinated by this building too. I managed to work inside (I am Electrician) a couple years past.
Aside from the restaurant space on floors 1-2, the entire building is crampacked with all manner of junk piled up mostly from the various tennants the building housed over the years. the defunct freight elevator would need to be running again in order to remove much of the stuff off the upper floors.
It would be quite a garage sale !
The remaining un-saleable junk would fill dozens of dumpsters and cost a fortune to dispose of.

Lynette said...

Anonymous Electrician, thanks so much for this info about the Ancient Order of the United Workmen and the Temple. I never went inside any of the restaurants--I've only admired and been fascinated by it from the outside.