Is Heritage Home Tour relevant to Portland remodeling?

The Architectural Heritage Center presents its Heritage Home Tour this Saturday, 7/31, from 10a-4p.

The event highlights notable homes exemplifying five distinct architectural Portland Remodel and Restorationstyles in Portland, from Victorian to Northwest Modern.

We first learned about the Tour thanks to our work on the Harry A. Green Estate, one of the six homes featured.  Barbara Pierce of AHC knew of our historically-accurate window restoration on portions of the estate a few years back, and, given that connection, thought we might like to sponsor the tour.  (Photos here show the Harry A. Green Estate, blueprints, and window restoration work.)

Now given the breadth of our work, we wear several interrelated but separate hats.  So with our historic restoration hat on, sponsorship of the tour made sense.  But how about when we’re wearing our Portland remodel contractor hat?  How is a tour like this relevant to a builder that repurposes homes to the needs of today’s home dwellers?  After all, while we honor traditions past, we also embrace change and innovation when it makes sense for our clients.  We don’t always work wearing archivist’s gloves.

Here are 4 reasons that we’re sponsoring the tour:

  1. Shaping Portland’s built heritage.   The tour celebrates our city’s architectural and built heritage.  As Portland remodelers, we engage with that heritage every day and, in fact, become part of it as we shape and mold the built environment.  Kind of sobering, actually.  So let’s pay homage to the history and traditions that have created the city that we are reshaping today.
  2. Innovation doesn’t occur in a vacuum.  Contemporary artists study the classics.  Jazz innovators immerse themselves in Coltrane.  Why?  Context matters and innovation is informed by tradition.  As builders and artists we embrace that duality.  We love the traditional and the modern, Arts and Crafts and Northwest Style.  Any chance to see exemplars of either is something we don’t like to miss.
  3. Modernism as a blueprint.  The tour features two modernist homes, one from the mid-century and another Pietro Belluschi home from the 80s.  While decades old, the modernist principles of design simplicity and focus on function are powerful guides for remodel work and building innovations today.
  4. A worthy organization and mission.  With a mission “to preserve the historic character and livability of our built environment, and to promote sustainability through the re-use of period homes and buildings”, Architectural Heritage Center deserves the support of Portland’s remodeling community.

As of this writing, tickets for the tour are still available from AHC.  We hope to see you there!

– Zack
Portland Remodel and Restoration

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