The Bosco-Milligan Foundation holds one of the largest collections of architectural artifacts in the western United States. The core of the collection consists of thousands of building pieces salvaged by Jerry Bosco and Ben Milligan who established the foundation and donated their collection for public benefit. Today, the primary scope of the collection encompasses the geographic area of Portland, Oregon, along with some marvelous pieces acquired by Bosco and Milligan from other states and Europe.
This study collection includes nearly every imaginable component part of historic houses and commercial buildings of this region, with a heavy emphasis on the late nineteenth to early twentieth centuries. The foundation is addressing the preservation of these collections through curation and is in the process of cataloguing each category.
Some of these collections are rare surviving artifacts of exquisite craftsmanship. Others are typical examples of common types of building materials. The collection varies in size from facades weighing hundreds of pounds to the smallest paint sample. Other related artifacts include tools used by craftsmen, architects, and others in the trades and professions related to building construction. Furniture designed specifically for structures and built-in pieces are also represented in the collection.
All of these resources if studied and analyzed provide information about building technology and the three dimensional historic materials of buildings for architectural historians, architects, preservationists, building owners, students or educators.
We use the collections in our thematic interpretive exhibits and educational programs at the Architectural Heritage Center. The Foundation’s collections continue to grow donations, provided that the established criteria for collecting are met.
The catalog and images of our collections are available for browsing on a computer in our lobby.