Tag Archives: preservation

Preservation Month 2017

May is Preservation Month! Review ten (10) handy preservation resources:

ONE – We explore some factors and opinions on new construction in Historic Districts.
PMAPDX OSU Buildable Landarea

TWO – An iconic example of a landmarked building less than 50 years old.
portland-building-pmapdx-nomination

THREE – Visit Oregon’s SHPO website to browse historic sites, NR listings, & available grants.
Union Station Historic/Seismic Renovation

FOUR – Get to know your local architectural styles from the 1840s – 1970s.
Hillsboro J-B House

FIVE – Pledge your support for a rehabilitated VMC because this place matters.


SIX – How you can find a historic place in the state of Washington.
PMAPDX-planning

SEVEN – Tax Incentives for Preserving Historic Properties.
USCH Courtyard

EIGHT – Oregon’s Most Endangered Places via Restore Oregon.
PMAPDX modern survey historic photo

NINE – Keeping It Modern. An architectural conservation grants for 20th century buildings.


TEN – How Historic Preservation is Reviving America’s Communities.
Hillsboro_OrencoInventory

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.

OR-Arch-Overview-Stylest-1
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OR-Arch-Overview-Stylest-4
Written by Kristen Minor, Associate, Preservation Planner

The Form and Function of Lighting Design

When we experience an interior architectural space, lighting plays a large role in setting the mood and functionality of a space. No matter an existing, modern or historic building, light of a space is a critical aspect of great interior design. Lighting elements can be designed to enhance the space and architectural details, set the mood, and compliment furniture, color schemes, and art work. For spaces without an abundance of natural light, lighting design becomes even more critical design consideration. For a recent project, PMA designed lighting schemes for two historic four-story tall interior atriums.

The existing atriums utilize natural light from skylights above; however the original design provided no artificial overhead lighting in the space. During the winter months or at dusk and night, the light quality of space relies on the little ambient light from the skylights or artificial light from the surrounding rooms and halls. The light during these times is inadequate for the necessary function of the space. PMA was tasked with providing a lighting solution that would sensitively address the historic nature of the atriums and provide adequate visibility in the space.
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Defining the Project Challenges
The concepts for our lighting schemes were based on the intended function of each identical space. The focus of the design and specified need of the client was to provide lighting for evening social gatherings, networking, and overall entertaining. Lighting needed to be adequate enough for speakers presenting to a crowd and for listeners to be able to read any related literature. Therefore, it was crucial to design lighting schemes that could provide ample lighting for evening events without compromising the historic integrity and ambiance of each space. To provide a solution for our clients’ challenge, we considered the following when approaching our design for the lighting schemes:

  • How to provide power to the source of lighting without compromising the historic elements.
  • Designing for large volumes of vertical space: hanging lighting within the atrium versus lighting from the top; how the light travels in the space, how it casts down shadows, the reflections off the floor and other surfaces.
  • One atrium exhibits permanent hanging sculptures and art; the lighting design required minimal approach to integrated and highlight the sculpture without distracting from it.
  • Designing for and highlighting the atriums’ architectural details, like the cornices, in addition how to hide or incorporating other non-historic architectural details like the structural support columns.
  • pmapdx-lighting-design-002
    Methodology for Design Solutions
    The prominent design goal was to increase overall light levels through a refined, modern scheme that would provide juxtaposition to the historic architectural elements and hanging sculpture. As in any historic project, it is important to avoid solutions that are faux historic, competing with, compromising, or confusing the original historic character. The few pragmatic design parameters defined by the client allowed for design freedom to provide several unique, distinct solutions. While creating our designs, PMA experimented with the type of fixtures (down lights, sconce, defused) and placement of these fixtures within the large volume of the atriums. PMA explored these options in a Revit model of the atrium spaces, which enabled evaluation of the design solutions through lifelike renderings that portrayed the quality and levels of light. Illuminance studies of lux levels provided a way to evaluate each design and provide refinement to meet necessary levels defined by the function of the space. Some lighting design options included:

  • Design lighting to highlight and contrast architectural features from surroundings, for example placing fixtures in the cove of architecture cornices located above openings within the atrium.
  • One atrium has a glass block floor element which could be illuminated from below to provide a dramatic light feature.
  • Accenting the verticality of the space with defused ribbon lighting set within the non-historic structural C-channels. This would transform these elements into elegant vertical lines leading the eye to the above skylights.
  • Pendant lights interspersed between sculptures would provide orbs of light to highlight elements of the sculpture. These fixtures would provide defused-light with optional downlights within the same fixture.
  • Suspended down lights at top of atrium with lights accenting sculptures from above and side.
  • Wall sconces to accents light and wash the atrium walls and columns; this would provide an overall glow to the space.
  • pmapdx-lighting-design-001
    pmapdx-lighting-design-003
    Scheme 1 unified serval lighting design ideas to provide different light level options in the space. Wall sconce lights provide general illumination of the space. Large circular hanging fixtures consist of defused tube lights and large circular defused downlights. Each group of fixture types can be controlled independently and dimmed to provide the ambience desired.

    Scheme 2 specifically works with the sculptures in the second atrium space. Vertical ribbon lights provide ambience illuminance of the space while concealing non-historic structural elements. Pendant lights hang interspersed within the sculptural elements. These have a defused light with an option for downlights. Each grouping of fixtures can be illuminated together or separately depending on the quality of light needed.

    Scheme 3 was chosen by the client and until announced must remain confidential. Stay tuned for the reveal.


    Written by Hali Knight.

    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.
    1-oregon-state-capitol-building
    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.
  • gus-solomon-interior-courtroom

    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

    Back to School: A Historic Overview of Benson Polytechnic HS

    For a recent Portland Public School (PPS) project, PMA had the pleasure of creating a Historic Overview of Benson Polytechnic High School for a broader master planning project for the campus. The goal of the historic overview was to conduct an assessment of the school’s campus, highlight new building additions and alterations (changes overtime), and to identify and define historically significant spaces. As part of the historic overview, PMA reviewed historic drawings and photographs, PPS archival material(s) and coordinated discussions with school staff. Resources assessed included: Main Building (1916), North Shop Wing (1917), South Shop Wing (1918), Old Gym (1925), Auditorium (1930), Library Science Addition (1953), Aeronautics/Automotive Shop (1953), New Gym (1964), New Library Addition (1991), and KPBS (1992). Below is a snap-shot of our findings included in the Historic Overview of Benson Polytechnic High School.

    PPS-Benson-PMAPDX-library-historic

    photo courtesy of PPS archives.


    Background and History
    Benson Polytechnic High School was built in 1916 and designed by former architect and superintendent of school properties for Portland Public School, Floyd Archibald Naramore (i). Supported and funded by Simon Benson, a local lumber baron and philanthropist, the school was built to reflect modern educational ideals and the industrial arts. According to the 1915 school district board of directors meeting minutes, Simon Benson offered to donate $100,000 to the school district for “the purpose of building the first unit of a School of Trades, upon condition that the district contract to expend at least $100,000 during the year 1916, in the construction of a second unit to the school.” (ii) This donation was accepted by the school district, and in 1916 construction began.

    Historic Overview
    Overall, Benson Polytechnic High School has shown significant changes over time. These changes have occurred to the campus as it has grown from just the main building in 1916 to the existing 10-unit campus it is today, and to most of the school buildings.

    Originally, the site just consisted of the main, rectangular-shaped building to the west of campus. Designed with the intent to grow over time on a six-block parcel, this building and its campus did. By 1924, the site included the north shop wing with saw-tooth roof and foundry building to the northeast, the south shop wing with saw-tooth roof to the south, and the boiler building in between them all. The site was connected by a covered walkway that ran from the east façade of the main building, along the north and east façades of the boiler building to the north wing shop along its south façade and the south wing shop along its north elevation. At this time, the site also included a one-story portable building to the southeast of the main building.

    By 1950, the site had grown again. At this point, the site included the old gym to the south of the main building, the auditorium to the north of the main building, and ten new portable classrooms, including an aviation classroom and shop where it is currently located, war production training building where KPBS is currently located, and a music room where the new library addition is currently located. During this time, the site still included the covered walkway that connected the building and remained relatively open.
    PPS-Benson-PMAPDX-Auditorium
    Significant Changes
    Currently, with the addition of the aeronautics/automotive shop and library science addition in 1953, the new gym in 1964, the new library addition in 1991, and KPBS in 1992, the Benson Polytechnic High School site is significantly different from its early beginnings. With the addition of these later period buildings, the site has become denser with the main building connecting to 50% of the campus buildings. The covered walk way has since been demolished leaving most of the site circulation to the interior. However, much of the site still reflects the school’s period style and building methods along the site’s two primary thoroughfares, NE 12 Avenue and NE Irving Street. Like the site, many of the early constructed buildings have changed as well.

    Of the five buildings built before 1930, the north wing and south wing shops have endured the most significant alterations. These alterations include the removal of their saw-tooth roofs, the additions of centralized locker-lined corridors, the reconfiguration of room sizes, the infill of original openings, and the replacement of original wood windows. The north wing shop experienced most of these alterations in 1958 and the south wing shop experienced all of these alterations in 1960. The two-story unit in the north shop wing underwent significant changes in 1977. These changes include the reconfiguring of most rooms, and the addition of new exterior CMU stairs and primary entrance, the removal of original staircases, wood columns, and chimney. The foundry room was also altered in 1977, as its second-level balcony and spiral staircase were removed and enclosed.
    PPS-Benson-PMAPDX-Library
    Well Preserved Character Defining Features
    Overall, the character-defining features throughout each building are well preserved. This retention of several original interior spaces, features, and finishes contribute to Benson Polytechnic’s High School good historic integrity. As this school and campus continue to change, its significant structures and their character-defining features will add to the rich vitality of the school and contribute to the importance of the school as a community asset.

    PPS-Benson-PMAPDX-Site-Plan
    Sources
    (i) Entrix, “Oregon Historic Site Form: Benson High School,” Oregon Historic Sites Database, compiled 2009, http://heritagedata.prd.state.or.us/historic/index.cfm?do=v.dsp_siteSummary&resultDispl ay=50450.

    (ii) Meeting of the Board of Directors, School District No. 1, July 31, 1915.


    Written by Kate Kearney, Associate, in conjunction with PMA Planning staff.

    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?
    baseball-historic-stadiums-pmapdx
    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.

    PMAPDX 2015 Year in Review

    HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!

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    Wishing you a holiday season filled with cheer and delight from Peter Meijer Architect.

    As we look back over the past year and reflect on our completed, on-going, and upcoming projects, we’d like to take the opportunity to say we have truly enjoyed collaborating and communicating with you.

    2015 PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS
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    PMA HAPPENINGS
    Peter Meijer AIA, NCARB, was a Presenter at the RCI, Inc. 2015 Symposium on Building Envelope Technology. He presented on, When Field Performance of Masonry Does Not Correlate with Lab Test Results. PPS Grant High School was the case study presented.

    Kristen Minor, Preservation Planner, is the newest member of the City of Portland Historic Landmarks Commission.

    Ballpark Preservation and Its Most Recent Event

    civic-stadium-eugene-prefireSince its creation in 1862, the ballpark has continued to have an influential impact on those who experience it. This impact is not only measured by heritage tourism to these sites, like Fenway Park or Wrigley Field, but also by how they are preserved. In some cases, such as Fenway Park, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, ballparks are preserved in a very traditional sense of the word. However, most ballparks never have the opportunity to reach the benchmarks needed to be preserved according to these preservation standards and are therefore preserved through a variety of alternative preservation methods. These methods, which span the spectrum from preserving a ballpark through the presentation of their original objects in a museum to the preservation of existing relics in their original location, such as Tiger Stadium’s center field flag pole, have given a large segment of our society an opportunity to continue their emotional discourse with this architectural form. Yet, the results of these preservation methods are commonly only the conclusion to a greater act of ceremony and community involvement that preludes them.

    civic-stadium-eugene-prefire-002Part of this ceremony and community involvement is the simple act of participating in the ritual that is the game itself. Most often this is conducted through observation, as society, architecture, and sport become one for nine innings. However, other documented examples of ceremony and community involvement that express the level of compassion our society has for ballparks include ritualistic acts, such as the digging up and transferring of home plate. In some cases, this ritual has included the transferring of home plate via helicopter, limousines, or police escort. Ceremonies like this have also included, for better or worse, the salvaging of dirt, sod, and other relics from a ballpark to be, either cherished as a memento or repurposed in new stadiums. Nevertheless, these examples of ceremony only scratch the surface of the depth that is our society’s infatuation with sport and its architecture, more specifically the ballpark.

    civic-stadium-eugene-postfireCeremonial Acts & Community Involvement Efforts
    Some of the most recent ceremonial acts and community involvement efforts that help to further this commitment to ballparks are the acts executed by the Friends of Civic Stadium in Eugene, Oregon. Founded in 2009, the Friends of Civic Stadium have dedicated countless hours towards preserving one of our country’s last wooden ballparks. These efforts include years of community activism, documentation, fundraising, and grounds keeping. Collectively, these efforts resulted in the prolonged life of the 77-year-old ballpark, as they fought off national corporate efforts to purchase and demolish the stadium. But, in an ironic twist of fate, all of the hard work, collaboration, and time spent on preserving a single ballpark came to an abrupt halt on June 29, 2015 when Civic Stadium caught fire and burned down in a matter of hours. Left with only charred remains and a distraught community, the Friends of Civic Stadium moved on in the only way they knew how, through ceremony.

    civic-stadium-eugene-postfire-003Led by the Friends of Civic Stadium president, Dennis Hebert, the organization held a wake in honor of their lost historic building. The wake, intimate in size, resembled a jazz funeral with a procession to the remains of the ballpark led by the One More Time Marching Band. Once at the site of the ballpark, there were multiple ritualistic acts that mimicked traditional funeral ceremonies. These acts included a moment of silence, a passionate speech by Dennis Hebert, and the always haunting rendition of Amazing Grace on bagpipes. After the ceremony, the Friends of Civic Stadium and the friends of Friends of Civic Stadium proceeded back to Tsunami Books where they continued to express their condolences and fond memories of the lost historic ballpark.

    Overall, this ceremony is just another example of the power that place and architecture have in our society. Like a living form, architecture, and more notably the ballpark, is preserved and mourned for like a family relative. Yet, when you expand the definition of family relative, the ballpark seamlessly fits in, and that is exactly why we preserve them.

    Friends of Civic Stadium
    For further information about the Friends of Civic Stadium please visit their website. They are currently collaborating with the Eugene Civic Alliance, the current owners of Civic Stadium and its property, in preserving the historical and cultural significance of Civic Stadium through alternative forms of preservation given its unfortunate fate.

    Written by Brandon J. Grilc, Preservation Specialist

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    Modern Residential Building Styles

    city-of-olympia-survey-pmapdxBuildings constructed before 1965 have reached the age of eligibility for being considered historic by the standards of the National Register. That means that much of Modern Architecture, the general period ranging from 1950 through 1970, is historic, or soon will be considered historic as the 50-year mark is crossed. As historians assess and study Modern Architecture, we provide ever more precise descriptions and terms to describe the sub-styles and variations within the large umbrella term, “Modern.” As in taxonomy, which classifies and categorizes living organisms, we can recognize and assign groups of similar resources together for study.

    Modern architecture had its roots after World War I as part of an egalitarian movement. The new architecture looked to industrial materials and processes to replace painstaking handwork; a horizontal proportion and deliberate embrace of the ground plane as opposed to a formal, vertical building proportion; and the rejection of ornamentation.

    A Mid-Century Residential Survey in the City of Olympia

    PMA has been working on a Mid-Century Residential survey in the City of Olympia. The date of construction for resources surveyed is limited to a two-decade span from 1945 to 1965, and the building type is limited to single-family residential. Surprisingly, there are more individual sub-styles found in this survey than were identified in a more broadly focused survey, our 2013 Mid-Century non-residential survey in St Louis, MO. The reason for this is that the tight focus of study allows for classification based on more specific characteristics.
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    The St. Louis survey identified resources constructed from 1945 to 1975 as being either Moderne, Brutalist, International Style, New Formalist, Neo-Expressionist, or simply “Modern Movement” if the style could not be placed in any sub-style. A few had mixed characteristics. The wide variety of building types in the survey, including churches, high-rise towers, and industrial buildings, kept style classifications necessarily broad. Local variations of styles were observed and identified, but were not given their own identifying style name. A future regional survey of the same time period could invite more stylistic classification, if there were enough similar resources to compare.

    The Olympia Mid-Century Residential survey covers approximately 400 single-family homes. The variations in style identified might be described in an overview as belonging to one of three “families.” Transitional Modern includes Stripped Classical, Minimal Traditional, and World War II-Era Cottage styles. The second group is Ranch style, which covers a broad range of sub-styles and forms, including Split-Level or Split-Entry Ranch; Contemporary Ranch; Storybook Ranch; and Colonial or Early American Ranch. The last group is a Neo-Expressionist collection of styles that were primarily constructed starting about 1965. These styles include A-Frame, Shed, Geodesic Dome, neo-Futurist, Pavilion, and other eclectic explorations and celebrations of building technology and structure. While none of these Neo-Expressionist styles were identified in the Olympia Mid-Century Residential survey, PMA expects at least one of these (Shed style) to be identified in urban Olympia if the time period studied is extended beyond 1965. Also, many of these styles were constructed in more rural areas than the concentrated Mid-Century neighborhoods examined in the survey. It is possible that Neo-Expressionist residences will come to light with further survey and exploration.

    Min-Traditional-city-of-olympia-survey-pmapdxThe Olympia survey classified the first grouping of styles as those that are transitional. Transitional Modern styles have some elements of Modern and some elements of more traditional architecture. Windows might be vertically-oriented, double-hung wood windows (traditional) rather than having horizontal proportions (Modern). A roof might be a moderate pitch, with minimal overhangs (traditional), rather than a shallow pitch with outwardly-extending gables (Modern). In Olympia, 37% of the houses surveyed were Modern Minimal Traditional, by far the most prevalent Transitional Modern style.

    Ranch-city-of-olympia-survey-pmapdxRanch style architecture is the style that architecture critics have generally spurned, since houses were often constructed by contractors without architect’s involvement. Ranch buildings are broad, one-story, and horizontal in overall proportion. They have an attached garage which faces the street and is part of the overall form of the house, and almost always a large picture window facing the street as well. Cladding is used to accentuate the horizontal lines of the house, so there is often a change in material at the lower part of the front façade- brick veneer was a popular choice. Many of the sub-styles of Ranch architecture are “styled” Ranch houses, meaning that elements from another style of architecture were placed on a Ranch form building. One example is Storybook Ranch, which uses “gingerbread” trim, dormers or a cross-gable, and sometimes diamond-pane windows. Are these decorated sub-styles still part of the canon of Modern Architecture? In many ways, they are more Post-Modern than Modern, but that distinction is worthy of an involved discussion of its own.

    Split-level-city-of-olympia-survey-pmapdxThe Olympia Mid-Century Residential survey found over half the resources surveyed to be Ranch or variants of Ranch style. 31% of the surveyed homes were identified as simply Ranch, with another 11% Early Ranch, 9% Contemporary Ranch, 4% Split-Level or Split-Entry, and 4% one of the “Styled” Ranch variations. Sheer numbers alone remind us that the Ranch is deserving of study and shows us how the majority of middle-class Americans lived. As Alan Hess writes in his book Ranch House,

    “Most critics overlooked or ignored the prototypical Ranch house architecture, the variety of its manifestations, the social complexity of its neighborhoods, and the tract Ranch’s often innovative mass-construction methods. To most critics living in traditional cities with little contact with the conditions, desires, and apparent satisfactions of middle-class suburban life, the suburbs were a foreign land.”

    The more we study these styles of Modern residential architecture, the more they may be appreciated, celebrated, and well-maintained. And if you live in or grew up in a Ranch style house, it is now potentially historic.
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    Written by Kristen Minor, Preservation Planner. For additional MCM survey projects, please visit our STL Modern Non-Residential Survey project.