- Purchased: October 24, 2013
- Construction begins October 28, 2013
- VIEW PHOTO GALLERY
Venerable has purchased Washington High School building from Portland Public Schools for $2 million. Our goal is to rehabilitate the property and return it to an active use that energizes SE Stark Street and the greater Buckman Neighborhood. We are focused on preserving the building’s historic character both inside and out.
Few could disagree that this building is a true architectural gem. The high school’s primary, west-facing elevation offers an impressive expression of its Classical Revival style. A four-story central bay features three pairs of recessed entry doors at the ground-floor level with four monumental ionic columns above. From a distance, one can see the entry pavilion’s frieze that is inscribed with the words “Washington High School” and, if you look closely, you can see that the building’s cornice is punctuated by lion heads. Our restoration work will notably repair the large scar on the west elevation where a non-original sky bridge previously connected the building to another campus structure. We will restore the lost windows and repair the brickwork in this area.
The interior of the building is also filled with significant historic character. It features a central auditorium with seating for more than 500 people; 18-foot-wide corridors with concrete floors and lockers; and light-filled classrooms that benefit from oversized historic windows, old chalkboards, and other vintage built-ins. We see tremendous potential in retaining and celebrating the special features that tell the story of this old high school building.
Venerable is currently working on an extensive due diligence review of the property. In January 2013, we successfully listed the property as a local landmark—our first hurdle in the City’s land use process. We are finalizing plans for the best use for the property and will be updating this page as we hit major milestones in the development process.
We are excited about giving this historic building a second chance at life and raising its stature as an important neighborhood landmark in southeast Portland