I love these before and after slideshows. This one’s alternate title could be “8 cool office spaces that used to be other things.”
Let’s see what some of the coolest buildings in Portland looked like 100 years ago, and today:
1. 1200 NW Naito Parkway
From: Commercial Cafe
1910: Albers Brothers Milling Co. | 2017: Offices
This building is just on the west side of the Broadway Bridge and it’s one you see any time you’re commuting on that side of town. They’ve done a great job re-detailing the lettering, so the fact that the “Albers Bros Milling Company” used to be a mill shouldn’t surprise anyone.
2. 2701 NW Vaughn St
1920: Montgomery Ward & Company Building (Largest building in the city when it was built!) | 2017: Montgomery Park (offices)
Have you lived long enough in Portland to remember Montgomery Ward? The Montgomery Park building used to be their corporate headquarters. It’s still corporate headquarters, but not for a department store.
3. 1120 NW Couch St
Early 1900s: Henry Weinhard Brewery Complex | 2017: Brewery Block 2 (offices)
Nestled among the high rises in the swanky Pearl District is the Henry Weinhard building, which used to be an urban brewery (and based on the postcard on the left, they converted to be compliant with Prohibition!). Now? Office space.
4. 1010 NW Flanders St.
1920s: Ballou & Wright Company Warehouse | 2017: In the process of being converted to office space
This is apparently one of the best preserved warehouses in the city. Ballou & Wright was a wholesaler of bicycle, motorcycle, and automobile parts (showing you just how far back the Portland aesthetic goes!) up until the 1960s.
5. 531 SE 14th Ave
1906: Washington High School | 1920s: Destroyed by a fire, replaced by a different building | 2017: Mixed use: Office space and a music venue
Check out how cool Washington High School was in 1906! The bell tower alone makes me want to write scary fiction. But, sadly, the original building was destroyed in the 1920s, and a new, less awesome (but still pretty cool) high school was built in its place. The school closed down in 1981, and it sat empty until 2015, when the classrooms were turned into office space, and the auditorium became Revolution Hall, a music venue with one of the best rooftop bars in the city, according to the Willamette Week.
6. 115 SW Ash St
1870s: New Market Theater | 2017: Mixed office, retail
This building has such a cool history. Imagine being able to go to a produce market on the first floor and a 1200-seat theater on the second floor. All in the late 19th/early 20th century. Nowadays this building is great for wandering around outside, or in the first floor retail spaces. Higher floors have office spaces.
7. 2505 SE 11th Avenue
1910s: Ford assembly plant | 2017: Mixed use (retail, offices)
Have you been to the Ford Building? Maybe you’ve taken your laptop to Ford Food & Drink to do some work (goodness knows, you’re in good company if you have!). But I bet you didn’t know that this was not a Ford showroom but the first Ford manufacturing facility in Portland, where they made… get this, Model T cars! That fact alone makes me want to go work remotely.
8. 600 SW 10th Ave
1910: Olds, Wortman & King Department store | 2017: Office space + City Target
The MAX Stop calls it Galleria, but did you know that the Galleria building was the first retail store in the Pacific Northwest to take over an entire city block? In the early 2000s, it was an open space where you could take your lunch from a Portland food cart and sit at a table. Now there’s a City Target in the first few floors, and office space above.
Do you work in an awesome building with a fascinating history? Let us know in the comments!