Neighborhood Preservation

Neighborhood Preservation

Across the state, in Corvallis, Eugene, Lake Oswego, and Portland significant increases in the number of existing homes being demolished to build larger housing units has led to an erosion of neighborhood character. This “demolition epidemic” has been most apparent in established turn-of-the-century neighborhoods, where land use policies and market forces are applying significant development pressure on houses that are often affordable, historic, and viable for continued use.

While not every old building is worth saving, retaining a sense of place is vital to our quality of life. No one solution exists to address the demolition epidemic, which is why Restore Oregon is advancing a series of policy initiatives that will protect landmark buildings, encourage the reuse of existing buildings, and allow for responsible new construction.

From interfacing with City committees such as DAG, DRAC, and SAC; to conducting public programs such as pubs, debates, and forums; to delivering testimony at City Council, in op-eds, and on this website, Restore Oregon is committed to advancing policy initiatives that appropriately balance neighborhood preservation and change.

Inventorying Portland’s History - Restore Oregon is working with Walnut Park to document and survey its own architecture and history. Documentation is the first step in discovering the stories of a place and telling them, and it is a fundamental tool for historic preservation. It’s impossible to preserve a place if that place and its story are unknown. While […]
Portland City Council Responds to RIP Testimony; Continued Advocacy Needed in 2017 - Responding to growing support for house preservation in Portland’s older neighborhoods, the City Council on Wednesday voted to significantly amend the much-discussed Residential Infill Project. Although the Council largely supported the concepts presented by the City’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, a series of amendments were adopted to “make it more attractive to preserve the […]
This Wednesday: Raise Your Voice to Protect Portland’s Neighborhoods - Update: City Council has extended the deadline to submit written testimony until Wednesday, November 23. The City of Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) wants to respond to Portlanders’ concerns about changing neighborhoods citywide. The Residential Infill Project was initiated in the fall of 2015 to address growing pains related to demolitions, the size of infill homes, and […]
Portland First in Nation to Mandate Deconstruction of Historic Homes - Effective October 31, any one or two-family home that was built in 1916 or earlier or is a designated historic resource cannot be demolished by the typical bulldozer process, but must be manually deconstructed and salvaged. In response to the demolition epidemic sweeping across Portland, the City convened a Deconstruction Advisory Group (DAG) to recommend […]
Eastmoreland Pursues Protection through Designation - Eastmoreland Neighborhood Association’s Board of Directors have voted to move forward with pursuing the designation of their neighborhood as a Historic District listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The neighborhood association organized an informational workshop about the proposed historic district designation on May 26. The neighborhood views this designation as a tool to […]
Portland: The Trailblazer for Planned Deconstruction -   Portland is leading the country by requiring deconstruction of historic homes which are already planned for demolition. Any one or two family structure that was built before 1917 or is a designated historic resource will require a full manual deconstruction rather than mechanical demolition starting on October 31st of this year. Measures to address […]
Portland’s Neighborhood Character: Do Something About It - Portland’s growing pains have sparked discussions and proposals around density and affordability. How do we retain neighborhood character, but also meet the demand of growth in Portland? Restore Oregon was invited to sit on the City’s Stakeholder Advisory Committee, a group convened to advise project staff on the issues of residential infill across the city […]
The State of Demolitions in Portland - The City of Portland is projecting that 2015 will mark a record year for residential demolitions, with approximately 400 homes expected to be demolished by year’s end. While new code requirements provide for a delay and notification period before a demolition takes place, the trend for more and larger housing units continues to increase pressure on […]
Momentum Building to Reduce Demolition Waste - With outcry intensifying over the stream of waste being generated by demolitions in Portland, the Mayor’s office and City bureaus have been working to develop regulatory responses intended to address some issues of concern. Two initiatives have recently been announced: one designed to incentivize higher rates of reuse of materials from buildings slated for demolition, and the […]
Guide to Requesting Delay Extensions for Proposed Residential Demolitions - In April 2015, the City of Portland adopted new rules governing demolitions in the city’s single-family residential zones. These rules allow the public to request an additional delay period for the purpose of saving significant houses from demolition. Because the process can be confusing, a citizen guide has been created to provide step-by-step instructions for individuals and organizations […]



Statewide Partner of the National Trust for Historic Preservation