Alix & Helle Nathan, The Nathan Family – owner/developer
Art DeMuro, Venerable Development LLC – project manager
Bill Bailey, Waterleaf Architecture
Brent Parry, formerly P&C Construction – general contractor
Designed in the Georgian Revival style and built in 1922, the Telegram Building housed the Portland Evening Telegram newspaper until the paper closed in the early 1930’s. Located on SW Washington Street, for years the building sat frozen in time, attracting few tenants due to its condition. Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in the early 1990’s, the Nathan Family sought to redevelop it to avoid demolition.
Working through numerous zoning and design review hurdles – and finding creative ways to make the financial numbers pencil with tax credits and help from the PDC – a comprehensive preservation and adaptive reuse was accomplished. It included: restoration of the historic façade, and bracing the terra cotta parapets and balustrade; making the clock tower operational again; seismic reinforcement; converting the basement to underground parking; preserving the historic wood and ironwork staircase; and rebuilding the mezzanine. A new entrance was added along 11th Avenue and a fourth floor was added with a set-back making it invisible from the street and preserving the building’s original appearance.
The Telegram Building serves as a catalyst for preservation in the West End, and stands as an anchor in an emerging neighborhood centrally located near the Brewery Blocks and the Pearl District. It demonstrates the power of strong partnerships between public and private groups, drawing upon resources from federal, state, and local government. Historic preservation isn’t always easy, but this project has greatly benefited our community.
More Photos of the Telegram Building
Click to enlarge the images below.