The Public Service Building Window Bay Restoration

Portland, Oregon

Before and After Photos

The Public Service Building is a 1927 Italianate-styled terra cotta clad structure in downtown Portland. It was designed by the firm of prolific local architect A.E. Doyle and, following its pre-depression construction, at 15 stories in height, it remained Portland's tallest building until the 1960's. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1996.
A portion of the original storefronts had been substatially modified in the process of becoming the country's first Niketown retail store. Nine tall, arched ornamental cast-iron framed window bays had been removed and destroyed during the store construction, their openings having been in-filled with predominantly solid walls - and, of course, Nike's iconic Michael Jordan silhouettes.

Additional Photos

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This project involved our typical use of GFRC-based masonry facade parts for the replacement of missing terra cotta elements, although the replication of the original cast iron components proved to be the far more challenging aspect of the project. Having briefly considered the use of new cast iron to replicate the original structural window systems, we soon realized that current code requirements for resisting the wind loads at the base of this relatively tall building would be particularly difficult (and expensive) to achieve solely with cast iron.
We developed an alternative window system that utilized molded epoxy composite shapes that were shop-assembled over hot dipped galvanized tube steel frameworks and painted to match the texture of the historic cast iron.