Ladd Carriage House Through the Years
Ladd Carriage House was built in 1883 by William S. Ladd to house his horses and store his carriages. Ladd is considered one of Portland’s most prominent citizens and served as the city’s fourth mayor in 1854. The Carriage House is one of the last buildings remaining with a direct and personal connection to Ladd.
Constructed at the NW corner of Broadway and Columbia streets, the Carriage House was directly across Broadway from Ladd’s expansive residence, which was demolished and replaced with the Oregonian Building. The carriage house included space for twelve horses, Ladd’s personal carriages, a hayloft and residential quarters for the estate’s coachman and gardener. The Ladd Family owned and maintained the building until it was converted into small shops and offices in 1926.
Designed by architect, Joseph Sherwin, it is a hybrid of the Stick Style and the Victorian style. Sherwin came to Portland about 1880 and died in 1883, the year the Carriage House was completed. This building is the only known building designed by Sherwin in Portland.
William S. Ladd
W.S. Ladd arrived in Portland in 1851 when the city was little more than a ramshackle trading post. He grew a single product store into a thriving business, and within three years was elected mayor. In 1859, Ladd co-founded Portland’s first financial institution, the Ladd & Tilton bank. Through his life, Ladd continued to expand his influence by serving on numerous boards and was a vocal advocate for Portland’s business community.
As a devote Presbyterian, Ladd felt duty bound to give back to the community. He provided offices for the Portland Library Association and left a generous endowment upon his death. Other institutions such as the Oregon Humane Society, the Ladies Relief Society Child’s Home, and the San Francisco Seminary all received support during his lifetime.
Preserving The Carriage House
The Friends of Ladd Carriage House have been actively engaged in preserving and restoring the iconic structure by serving as advocates for the building’s retention and integrity.
For more than three years the Friends worked diligently toward the goal of producing an economically viable building that would enrich the Ladd redevelopment site and downtown Portland, in perpetuity. The Friends are a Committee of the Architectural Heritage Center, a non profit organization dedicated to preserving “the historic character and livability of our built environment.”
On October 18, 2008, the historic building was moved back to its original site after a 16-month absence. Relocating the Carriage House was part of the first phase of the redevelopment project.
Costs for the move and the initial restoration are being born by Opus Northwest and represent a major contribution to the preservation of the city’s important historic buildings.
Click to return to Ladd Carriage Development page.
Throughout its life, the Carriage House has been used for a variety of purposes including a warehouse, a restaurant, a music studio, a temporary fight arena, the Portland Civic Theater and the offices of Hoffman Construction Company. In 1972 it was remodeled into an office space for a law firm and then housed offices for various tenants and for First Christian Church office space.