Tag Archives: historic preservation

Overview of Architectural Styles in Oregon: 1840s to 1970s

The City of Gresham applied for and was granted a CLG grant from the State Historic Preservation Office to increase community interest in historic preservation. The City felt that a presentation focused on architectural styles would be likely to generate some interest. They contacted PMA to find out if we would work within their budget and provide a powerpoint presentation geared towards citizens with no planning or architecture background, but also useful for City staff and historians. PMA was happy to be able to provide an overview of Oregon architecture styles from “settlement era” up until mid-1970s. The presentation highlighted the styles most likely to be seen in the Gresham area, especially residential and commercial uses. It was educational for our office to find those historic properties in Gresham and incorporate some of them into the presentation.

Use, Type, Style
It is difficult to understand style without an appreciation of the ways style can be overlaid on various types and uses of buildings. The USE of a building is its primary function. For instance, a church (use) might have a hall with steeple (types or forms) and be Neoclassical (style). The use or purpose of a building is strongly linked to its form, but even within a category of use such as residential, one might find various types such as “apartment block,” “bungalow,” or “four-square.” TYPE just means the basic form, so it is useful for historians to categorize these forms into expected sizes or arrangements of volumes. An apartment block is generally a simple rectangular building with several apartment units and a shared entry. A bungalow is simply a small house, one or 1.5 stories, horizontal in expression. Bungalows are often Craftsman in style, but a handful of other styles are sometimes used with a bungalow type. A four-square is a larger house, typically 2 or 2.5 stories, consisting of a somewhat square footprint with 4 rooms on each floor, and a broad front porch with columns or posts.

The building’s STYLE is determined by the architectural and ornamental details and exterior features applied to the basic structure. Styles change with the times. In fashion and out of fashion, some endure longer. The timeline included is generally reflective of Oregon architectural fashions. However, style also can be affected by technology- for example, the development of steel frame buildings allowed for a new style to emerge: Modernism. Older bearing-wall masonry construction only allowed for small windows set between structural wall areas. A proliferation of new building types, such as the geodesic dome, occurred in the Modern era.

We categorize buildings by type, use, and style when doing a survey of resources in a particular area. The data can be compared quickly and easily to data from other surveys, so we can see the patterns and history of development emerging in any particular area.

Stylistic Timeline of Architectural Styles in Oregon
From Vernacular Forms and Styles, to Renaissance Revivals, Northwest Regional Style and Post Modern, Oregon has a robust and diverse vocabulary of architecture. The stylistic timeline below is meant as a broad overview, highlighting key attributes per style listed, to help you identify your local and regional architectural resources.

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Written by Kristen Minor, Associate, Preservation Planner

State and Federal Historic Preservation Incentives Available in Oregon

Historic Preservation Incentives at the State and Federal level are either tax incentives or grants. PMA keeps up to date regarding these programs as incentives are ever-changing and apt to suddenly sunset or be revised. Following is a brief explanation of incentives offered by state or federal government or private agencies as of 2016. PMA has worked with multiple owners and agencies across the Pacific Northwest to take advantage of state and federal tax incentive programs, and we can provide expert experience in the latest interpretations of work that meets the standards for these incentives. A few other redevelopment incentive programs are also mentioned below, if they have been successfully combined with historic preservation incentive programs in Oregon.
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FEDERAL AND STATE OF OREGON TAX INCENTIVES

Oregon Special Assessment

  • Properties contributing to a district or individually listed on the National Register and in need of some rehabilitation are eligible for the State of Oregon Special Assessment property tax incentive. Property taxes are “frozen” at the time of application and are held at that value for 10 years. During this time period owners may make significant investments in the property without an increase in assessed value. The earlier the investment is made and the larger the resulting increase in market value, the greater the benefit to the owner.
  • A Preservation Plan must be submitted, outlining the rehabilitation work proposed. Exterior work is prioritized, and the work must meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. The total valuation of work must be at least 10% of the property’s Real market value and that amount must be spent in the first five years of the special assessment period.
  • A second term of 10 years is available, with some limitations on the types of preservation work that are eligible for the program. Eligible work includes energy conservation projects, ADA compliance, seismic improvements, or sustainability. The investment must meet or exceed 10% of the Real market value of the property at the time of application.
  • Non-contributing properties in need of rehabilitation could be eligible for the State of Oregon Special Assessment property tax incentive, if it is determined by the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) that the property is or would be eligible for listing on the National Register, and that the renovation would restore obscured or missing historic character.


  • Federal Historic Tax Credit Incentives (HTC)

  • Rehabilitation tax credits, in the amount of up to 20% of the amount spent on the project, are available to qualifying projects.
  • Property must be listed either individually or as a contributing property to a historic district listed in the National Register. Alternately, to qualify for up to 10% in tax credits, a non-designated building must have been constructed before 1936.
  • Property must be income-producing for at least 5 years after rehabilitation. Owner-occupied residential projects such as condominiums do not qualify, but apartments or mixed-use projects are eligible. The project must be substantial. The owner must spend more on rehabilitation expenditures than the “adjusted basis” value of the property. The Investment Tax Credit does not include the purchase price of the property.
  • Rehabilitation work must meet certain standards for preservation. These are the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation.
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    Federal Preservation Easement Tax Deduction
    A preservation easement is a legal agreement to protect a historic property from changes, including neglect. The property must be individually listed on the NRHP or a contributing structure within a National Register-listed historic district or local historic district. If a property owner makes a voluntary donation to a trust such as the Historic Preservation League of Oregon (HPLO) of all or a portion of a property, the donation can qualify as a charitable tax donation. Only some of the rights associated with the property are being donated, and the donation permanently limits uses or changes as specified. The owner of the historic property may still use the property, and must maintain it. The owner may sell the property, but the restrictions will remain with the property. The preservation easement may be structured to include only the exterior of a building, or may include air rights, interiors, grounds, or other features.

    OTHER INCENTIVES OR PROGRAMS

    Private and Public Grants
    Grants for historic preservation work vary widely as to eligibility rules, requirements, and amounts. While private-sector grant-making organizations are more apt to change grant programs or requirements year-to-year, they also are more likely to provide larger sums of money. Historic preservation grants are sometimes only available for preservation planning, survey, or designation work as opposed to “brick and mortar” projects.

    The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) administers Federal grants directly to local government entities through the Certified Local Government (CLG) program. The SHPO also administers State grants through the Oregon Heritage Grants, Oregon Museums Grants, Preserving Oregon Grants, Diamonds in the Rough Grants, and Oregon Historic Cemeteries Grants. These are all competitive and offer relatively modest amounts of funding.

    New Market Tax Credit
    In December 2015, Congress approved an extension of the New Market Tax Credit (NMTC) program through 2019. There is an immediate opportunity for investors, low-income communities, and businesses to use this successful program in order to revitalize economically distressed areas and create jobs. The State also runs the Oregon New Market Tax Credit program, which is modeled on the same requirements as the Federal program.

    The Blanchet House of Hospitality, a new (2012) building in a historic district in downtown Portland, used New Markets Tax Credits. NMTC and HTC have also been used together, such as in the Mercy Corps restoration/ expansion in the Skidmore Old Town historic district.
    The NMTC is not available for loans or investments in projects involving residential rental housing alone, but may be used for mixed-use and some other housing projects. Investments must be made to designated Community Development Entities (CDEs), which in turn provide investments in low-income communities. The investment is claimed over a 7-year credit allowance period.

    Low-Income Housing Tax Credits
    The federal government allots a certain amount per state per year to be awarded to developers willing to provide low income housing. Residential rental properties only may qualify for the Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) program. A certain percentage of the units must be restricted to occupants making 50% or less (or 60% or less) of local median income, and the affordability restrictions must be maintained for a minimum of 30 years. LIHTC has been successfully combined with HTC in downtown Portland projects such as the Admiral Apartments, the Martha Washington, and the Bronaugh Apartments.


    Written by Kristen Minor, Associate/Preservation Planner

    Local Historic Preservation Incentives Available in Portland, Oregon

    With a firm comprised of architects and planners, we understand and assist owners and developers navigate local historic preservation incentives made available by the City of Portland. The following is a comprehensive overview of incentives offered by the City, as of 2016, in the form of various use allowances, development rules “waivers,” and opportunities to transfer allowed but unused floor area to other property owners, creating an opportunity for a monetary benefit. We grouped the available historic preservation incentives available by the following: City of Portland Incentives, City of Portland/State of Oregon Building Code Allowances, and Portland Development Commission Programs.

    The City of Portland’s Central City 2035 Plan (as well as other related City code projects) are currently under review. The Proposed Draft was published in June 2016 and is being reviewed by many City and non-City agencies, bureaus, and organizations. Proposed changes directly affect portions of the Portland Zoning Code, but the existing Zoning Code will remain in effect until adoption of the final Central City 2035 Plan, probably in late 2018. Increased transfer options are the major change proposed.

    “Landmark” as defined by the City is a property individually listed on the National Register, or evaluated by the City of Portland as a local historic resource. Many incentives are also available to resources designated contributing to a National Register-listed Historic District or locally designated Conservation District.

    Marshall Wells Lofts building preservation plan.

    Marshall Wells Lofts building preservation plan.


    CITY OF PORTLAND INCENTIVES
    Additional density in Single-Dwelling zones. Landmarks in Single-Dwelling zones may be used as multi-dwelling structures, up to a maximum of one dwelling unit for each 1,000 square feet of site area. No additional off-street parking is required, but the existing number of off-street parking spaces must be retained. The landmark may be expanded and the new floor area used for additional dwelling units only if the expansion is approved through historic design review.

    Additional density in Multi-Dwelling zones. Landmarks and contributing structures in historic districts located in multi-dwelling zones may be used as multi-dwelling structures, with no maximum density. No additional off-street parking is required, but the existing number of off-street parking spaces must be retained. The building may be expanded and the new floor area used for additional dwelling units only if the expansion is approved through historic design review.

    Nonresidential uses in the RX zone. In the RX zone, except on certain sites which directly front on the Park Blocks, up to 100 percent of the floor area of a landmark or contributing structure may be approved for Retail Sales and Service, Office, Major Event Entertainment, or Manufacturing and Production uses through Historic Preservation Incentive Review.

    Nonresidential uses in the RH, R1 and R2 zones. In the RH, R1 and R2 zones, up to 100 percent of the floor area of a landmark or contributing structure may be approved for Retail Sales and Service, Office, or Manufacturing and Production uses as follows:

  • a. Review required. The nonresidential uses must be approved through Historic Preservation Incentive Review; and
  • b. Previous nonresidential use required. The last use in the structure must have been in a nonresidential use category and have been allowed when established; if part of the structure was in residential use, the proposal must include at least as many dwelling units as were part of the last allowed use or uses. If the last allowed use was residential only, the structure is not eligible for this incentive.

  • Daycare is an allowed use in all residential zones in historic landmark or contributing structures. In non-historic structures, daycare uses in residential zones other than RX require a conditional use review.

    Conditional uses in Residential, Commercial, and Employment zones. In these zones, applications for conditional uses at landmarks or contributing structures are processed through a Type II procedure, rather than the longer Type III procedure requiring a public hearing.

    Exemption from minimum density. Minimum housing density regulations do not apply in landmarks or contributing structures.

    Crane building historic consulting for storefront updates.

    Crane building historic consulting for storefront updates.


    Commercial allowances in Central City Industrial zones. National Register-listed properties or those contributing to a National Register-listed historic district have potential to include office and retail uses.

    Commercial allowances in employment and industrial zones. Office and retail uses are allowed in landmarks in areas where those uses are otherwise restricted.

    Increased maximum parking ratios in Central City. National Register-listed properties or those contributing to a National Register-listed historic district within the Central City Core parking area are allowed to increase parking ratios.

    Commercial allowances in Guild’s Lake Industrial Sanctuary District. Increases allowances for office and retail uses in landmarks in an area where non-industrial uses are otherwise restricted.

    The transfer of density and floor area ratio (FAR) from a landmark to another location is allowed in Multi-Dwelling, Commercial, and Employment zones. Historic properties with unused development “potential” therefore may find a market for the FAR.

    Proposed Development transfer opportunities (potentially adopted in 2018):
    Landmarks and contributing resources in historic districts will be able to transfer FAR City-wide, as long as the “sending” resource meets seismic reinforcement standards. Seismic work may be allowable in phases over a period of years. FAR to be transferred is not only the base amount unused by the existing historic structure, but also an additional 3:1.

    U.S. Custom House renovation and historic tax credits.

    U.S. Custom House renovation and historic tax credits.


    PORTLAND DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION PROGRAMS
    The Portland Development Commission (PDC) has operated several programs to benefit owners of existing buildings (not necessarily historic buildings). These programs have been suspended and will be replaced by the Prosperity Investment Program (PIP). Information about the PIP is not yet available, but the program may still provide benefits to owners, similar to the suspended Storefront Improvement Program.

    For further information on how PMA helps owners consider reuse options, navigate the regulations, and take advantage of available benefits – please visit our website to review our multidisciplinary projects and comprehensive architecture, building envelope science, and planning services.

    Written by Kristen Minor, Associate, Preservation Planner

    Preservation and Ballparks: A Survival Guide for the
    American Ballpark

    Since the creation of the ballpark in 1862 and the much later inception of the National Preservation Act of 1966, preservation and ballparks have not necessarily been synonymous with each other, especially when referring to those used for Major League Baseball. To further the point, of the 109 stadiums, ballparks, or fields used by Major League Baseball since 1876, only 43 exist today, and of those 43, only 9 are 50 years of age or older. This does not mean, however, that only 9 Major League Baseball stadiums have ever reached or even surpassed 50 years of age; it just means that meeting one of the most fundamental benchmarks in preservation does not guarantee survival. For that matter, neither does being listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Although preservation is practiced and taught through the lens of the National Park Service’s preservation standards, there are multiple factors that contribute to the preservation of a historic resource. Like anything, there is rarely, if ever, a single answer to solving a complex issue. This leaves the question, if not the existing preservation framework, what factors do contribute to the preservation of historic resources, specifically historic major league ballparks?
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    Though an intriguing question, it will not be completely answered in this observational study, given the number of variables for each resource. However, by analyzing the 9 existing Major League Baseball stadiums that have survived to reach the age of 50, Fenway Park (1912), Wrigley Field (1914), Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (1923), RFK Stadium (1961), Hiram Bithorn Stadium (1962), Dodgers Stadium (1964), The Astrodome (1944), Angel Stadium (1966), and the Oakland Coliseum (1966), this study begins to quantify what factors have contributed to their prolonged survival and identifies two common elements: function and adaptability. This study also provides information that can be useful in steering and focusing preservation efforts toward the successful preservation of baseball stadiums, ballparks, and fields. Nevertheless, it should also be understood that, though the findings of this study identify patters of preservation, these patterns should not be used to determine historic significance or integrity.

    Elements of Survival
    The first and most obvious element of survival for the 9 historic Major League Baseball stadiums is their function. No function, no purpose. Easily said and just as easily true. Of the 9 existing historic ballparks, 8 are currently being use by a Major League Baseball franchise or other sports program, as they were originally intended. The Astrodome is the only ballpark of the 9 that is currently vacant. With the exception of the Astrodome, which is pending rehabilitation, 8 out of 9 (88.9%) of all historic ballparks are functional. Whether through baseball, football, or soccer, keeping ballparks functional will not only contribute to their purpose for existence, but can keep them extant. In cases where Major League Baseball franchises or other sports programs build new stadiums, relocate, or disband, it is critical that the existing or remaining ballpark, stadium, or field finds a function, preferably one that utilizes its original design intent. Without it, its odds of demolition are significantly increased, regardless of its age, history, or cultural importance.

    Ballpark Styles
    Another common element of survival that these historic ballparks share is their ability to adapt to an evolving sport and culture through alterations. Though this use of alteration, in terms of renovation or rehabilitation, is a common standard within the National Park Service’s preservation rubric, ballparks are unlike other architectural forms because they are in a constant discourse with the sport of baseball, which has historically contributed to their continued evolution. Out of this relationship, four primary ballpark styles were created: The Pre-Classic (1871-1909), Classic (1909-1953), Modern (1953-1992), and Retro (1992–present). These styles, from the modest, wooden, Pre-Classic ballpark to the predominant, contemporary, Retro style ballpark, are equally representative of the sport and our society during their time of construction, thus contributing to their demolition when both evolved. Given this inherent fate, ballpark demolition is as common to the sport as superstition. So common, that an average of 16 ballparks have been demolished during each stylistic trend. However, those that have defied this characteristic have done so through their ability to mend both sport and cultural trend by adaptation.

    Ballpark Alterations
    After analyzing the histories of each of the 9 historic ballparks, 100% have undergone some form of alteration in pursuit of modernity. The most common alteration made was the addition or renovation of seating. The least common alterations made were the addition of kids’ play areas and the addition or renovation of dugouts. These statistics are expanded in the Historic Ballpark Alteration Chart. This chart shows past, undergoing, and projected alterations to each of the 9 historic ballparks observed in this study. Depending on age, these alterations, which include renovations and additions, may have been made to the same ballpark more than once.
    Historic-Ballpark-Alteration-Chart_PMAPDX
    Overall, these alterations have unquestionably contributed to the extended lifespan of each of these ballparks. This has allowed 5 of them to obtain historic status, either nationally or locally, one of which used Federal Historic Preservation Tax Credits. More importantly, they all have retained their function and purpose, while not all alterations made to these ballparks align with the National Park Service’s preservation standards.

    Titled “Preservation and Ballparks: A Survival Guide for the American Ballpark,” this study is meant to propel the discussion of the question: what factors contribute to the preservation of major league ballparks? Other factors that need further examination to truly understand the holistic approach to preserving ballparks are: 1) the financial impacts of preserving, redeveloping, or repurposing a ballpark; 2) the impact that a ballpark has on team success, franchise revenue, location and fan base; 3) and local preservation laws and ordinances for historic resources. Additionally, for further statistical analysis, this study would need a larger sample size, which includes historic minor league ballparks.

    Overall, this study reinforces some of the most important and fundamentally crucial elements in preservation: function and adaptability. Though the findings made in this study are not new to the preservation field, the perspective of what elements contribute to preservation of a single utilitarian form, such as the ballpark, is. More importantly, this study also reinforces the necessity for change and growth for all structures, even if falling outside of national preservation standards. This does not mean that with change comes demolition, but that change should be embraced, as it has been for these 9 major league ballparks.

    Written by Brandon J. Grilc, Preservation Specialist

    Bibliography
    Ballparks of Baseball. Dodgers Stadium. http://www.ballparksofbaseball.com/nl/DodgerStadium.htm.

    Ballparks of Baseball. RFK Stadium. http://www.ballparksofbaseball.com/past/RFKStadium.htm.

    Charleton, James H. Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form. Washington D.C.: National Park Service, 1984.

    Chicago Cubs. History. http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/chc/ballpark/information/index.jsp?content=history.

    Chicago Cubs. Construction Timeline. http://cubs.mlb.com/chc/restore-wrigley/updates/timeline/.

    Cook, Murray. “Murray Cook’s Field & Ballpark Blog,” Hiram Bithorn Stadium Upgrades for 2010 (blog), May 26, 2010. http://groundskeeper.mlblogs.com/?s=hiram+bithorn+stadium.

    Donovan, Leslie, Rachel Consolloy Nugent, Erika Tarlin, and Betsy Friedberg. Fenway Park National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form. Washington D.C.: National Park Service, 2012.

    Georgatos Dennis. “Renovations Reshaping Oakland Coliseum.” http://www.apnewsarchive.com/1996/Renovations-Reshaping-Oakland-Coliseum/id-d9a080536647dd0a356dcbd51efd4095.

    Grilc, Brandon J. “Stealing Home: How American Society Preserves Major League Baseball Stadiums, Ballparks, & Fields.” Thesis., University of Oregon, 2014.

    Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Angel Stadium History. http://losangeles.angels.mlb.com/ana/ballpark/information/index.jsp?content=history.

    Los Angeles Dodgers. Dodger Stadium History. http://losangeles.dodgers.mlb.com/la/ballpark/information/index.jsp?content=history.

    Los Angeles Dodgers. Dodger Stadium Upgrades. http://losangeles.dodgers.mlb.com/la/ballpark/stadium_upgrades/.

    Melendez, Sara T. Aponte. Hiram Bithorn Municipal Stadium National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form. Washington D.C.: National Park Service, 2013.

    Powell, Ted. The Astrodome National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form. Washington D.C.: National Park Service, 2013.

    Sillcox, Scott. Heritage Uniforms and Jerseys: A celebration of historic NFL, MLB, NHL, NCAA football and CFL uniforms and stadiums/ballparks/arenas. http://blog.heritagesportsart.com/

    University of Southern California. The Coliseum Renovation. http://coliseumrenovation.com/overview.