Richardson romanesque repeating round archways

Workmen Temple Replacement Design Gets Thumbs Down

Restore Oregon has been advocating for the preservation of the Workmen Temple since its removal from the Historic Resource Inventory in November 2015.

Restore Oregon’s Executive Director Peggy Moretti provided testimony at the City of Portland’s Design Commission hearing on August 4th regarding the proposed demolition and replacement of the Ancient Order of United Workmen Temple. Restore Oregon noted that the demolition of such a prominent resource would be a great loss to Portland and what replaces the Workmen Temple should be of the highest architectural caliber and craftsmanship. Moretti testified that the proposed design does not accomplish this goal. She argued that the proposed replacement would completely disregard the adjacent historic Auditorium Building. A loading dock, garbage collection point, and unsightly mechanical systems will be located directly next to the National Register listed building’s entrance. Restore Oregon requested the Commission deny the proposed new design.

“Portland is the nation’s most livable city, in part because of our unique built environment. Losses like the proposed demolition of the Temple cannot go unaddressed. Join the fight today!

During the hearing, the Commission discussed the significance of the loss of the Workmen Temple and noted that the design of the replacement should be considerably better than what is being demolished. Commissioners also requested the assessment data for the rehabilitation of the Workmen Temple. Restore Oregon believes that Ankrom Moisan Architects has not fully explored the economic viability of the rehabilitation of the Temple. The Commission reinforced Restore Oregon’s testimony and Ankrom Moison Architects will be required to address the issues voiced by several Commissioners and return for another design review hearing at a later date.

A copy of our testimony is available for download as a pdf and viewable at the bottom of this page.

2016-8-2 - Design Commission Testimony-PM edits2_Page_1 2016-8-2 - Design Commission Testimony-PM edits2_Page_2

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