The Witherspoon Building is getting a makeover


Lost Oregon

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Built in 1890 as a saloon, dance hall, and brothel, the Witherspoon Building, located at 424 SW 4th, is in the final stretch of its 123 year renovation , or, “redemption.”

In January 2014, the Witherspoon Building will be home to Parliament as well as a creative collective, a sidewalk-facing creative flex space and a below-ground workshop. They are actively seeking designers, writers, programmers, technologists, small start-ups, and other modern makers to help them build something great.

How do I know this? A really cool marketing campaign.

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During one of my lunch-time walks, I noticed the building getting some retrofit work done to it and walked up to it to take a couple of pics and noticed the cool signage adorning the side. It had the name of the building and a URL to visit for more information.

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On the website, there’s a bit of history, a live-cam…

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Rose Cyclery, 1929


Vintage Portland

The tidy Rose Cyclery shop not only sold bicycles, but an array of other goods and services (baby cabs retired?). The store stood on the east side of NE Union, just south of Broadway. The shop next door was a paint store, and the brick building to the right is still standing.

(City of Portland Archives)

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How To Interview An Architect When Building A New Home by Steph Noble, Northwest Mortgage Group


Making the decision to build a home might be one of the biggest you make in your life. You’ve found the perfect plot of land and have a vision of what type of home you want, but you need someone to bring your dream to life.

That means it’s time to start interviewing architects.

Hiring an architect isn’t as simple as just calling up a few and seeing who might have the time.

You’ll want to ensure you choose a professional that understands your design aesthetic, communicates well, can design on budget and has an upstanding reputation.

Below are a few key questions to ask when deciding whom to hire.

Do You Have A Specific Design Style?

When interviewing architects, be sure to ask each one if they have a specific aesthetic and if you can see a portfolio of his or her work. While most are adaptable, they usually all have design themes that recur in their projects.

Whether you want a minimalist structure or LEED certified construction, you’ll want to know they have the experience.

What Is Your Fee?

You’ll need to inquire whether they charge a flat fee for their designs or a percentage of the total building cost. Most architects charge a percentage of the overall cost of your home, usually ranging from 5-20 percent.

This is important to know because it means that for every floorboard installed, you’ll need to add on the architect’s additional percentage.

Do You Provide Project Management Services?

There are many services that architects should include within their contract, such as checking the contractor’s work, making adjustments as the construction moves forward and obtaining lien waivers.

Get a list of what each architect you interview includes in his or her fee. Additional charges can add up and might play a part in who you choose.

Interviewing architects and finding the right professional can make all the difference when it comes to building exactly what you want. One you work well with can make the construction experience extremely pleasant, while a negative relationship can leave you hating your new home.

Portland Home Prices Continue Upward


Willamette Valley Homes & Real Estate

A new report on Portland metro area home prices was just released. The news is good. Yet in seeing how we got here, the timing of our price turnaround is a little surprising.

That’s because looking back on the market, our region’s price recovery appears not to have really occurred until last year.

Regional Housing Recovery Delayed
Analysts suggest the US recession began December, 2007. But the official end of the recession supposedly was June, 2009. As you can see in the above chart, regional home prices continued downward until early 2012. The bottom line? Our housing recovery was clearly delayed longer than many might suggest.

Inventory A Recovery Factor
This latest Portland area report indicates home prices are up 14.1% over the past year. Helping this upward trend is the continued low inventory of available homes for sale. Currently, our market would be out of properties to purchase…

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