Adaptive Reuse Oregon History Oregon Real Estate Portland historic preservation

Portland’s Galleria mall gets a makeover

Olds, Wortman & King department store

Portland’s famous mall got a huge makeover and just celebrated it with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. 

No, not THAT Mall, the other one: The Galleria (now called Galleria). 

A quick bit of history. Built in 1910 and originally known as the Olds, Wortman & King department store, in the 1970s The Bill Naito Company repositioned the building in 1976 and renamed it the Galleria Mall. 

It thrived through the 80s and early 90s but with the sparkling new Pioneer Place it saw traffic plummet. In 2018, Unico Properties LLC purchased Galleria. The acquisition was part of a joint venture partnership with Partners Group, which invested in Galleria on behalf of its clients. In 2021, Partners Group and Unico invested approximately $20 million to fully renovate the historic landmark, delivering state-of-the-art amenities and creative office space to the heart of downtown. That same year, Unico secured a new, 42,000-square-foot, 15-year lease for SERA Architects, Inc., a multi-disciplinary architecture, interior, and urban design firm committed to sustainable placemaking, at Galleria.

“We preserved the past while revitalizing this historic landmark and we’re honored to reveal a beautiful new building that creates a hub, with a modern and exceptional amenity package and reflects the epitome of sustainability and decarbonization, in this prime area of downtown,” said Charlie Floberg, Unico Properties Director, Market Leader. 

Here are some impressive factoids for the building (and energy efficiency!) nerds:

  • Completely new mechanical systems (HVAC, electrical and plumbing, fire panel) to maximize energy efficiency – the remodel was done under the Path to Net Zero standards which is an extraordinary step, especially in a building that’s more than 100 years old.  It’s a standard above current energy code. This historic building is meeting Energy Trust of Oregon’s net-zero standards and is targeting LEED Gold certification, with the possibility of getting higher.
  • All interior finishes removed – raw shell for office users to maximize for their visioning of space.
  • Infilled the atrium to maximize floor area.
  • Full modernization of the elevators in 2023.
  • New lobby with an homage to the historical fabric of the building – respecting Galleria’s history and respecting its place on the National Register of Historic Places – reused the marble floor where possible.
  • Dedicated and secure bike storage; full fitness center and shower facilities; common conference room.
  • Modernization of the parking garage – new automated equipment.
  • High-efficiency lighting throughout.
  • Galleria is now fully electrified and is pursuing LEED Gold certification, with the possibility of getting higher. Galleria is not only an example of decarbonization, but it is also a building that prioritizes health and wellness for its inhabitants. Galleria is also targeting Fitwel certification, which is expected in 2023.

My last memory of the space was in 2008 when the ground floor atrium offered tables and chairs and was a great place to bring over food from the (now-gone) food carts. As I sat down to eat I grabbed my pho from the lid and the container dropped to the floor spilling hot pho all over the place. Nice one, dude. What’s your memory of the place?

Color pics: Photo credit: Molly J. Smith / BW pics: Oregon Historical Society.

Oregon Design and Architecture Oregon History Oregon Real Estate Portland historic preservation Portland History Portland Real Estate

The former Bomber location in Oak Grove is for sale

 John Margolies Roadside America photograph archive (1972-2008), Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division. Source.

Actually, what’s for sale is most of the land that the former restaurant (closed during COVID in 2020) and gas station (closed years ago) and once featured the B-17 Lacey Lady, a WWII-vintage B-17G four-engine Bomber looming over the property.

If you don’t know the story, in 1947, Art Lacey purchased a B-17 bomber for $13,000 and flew it from Oklahoma to Oregon. He then disassembled it, transported it covertly, and placed it atop his 48-pump gas station in Oak Grove. Lacey also opened the Bomber Restaurant and motel. The gas station was closed in 1991.

According to Loopnet, the property is going for $6 million.


Good news for fans of the airplane, it was relocated and is being restored. Once that happens it’s not clear where it will (excuse the pun) land. Probably not at its original location. If I had any guesses, this chunk of the property will be turned into shovel-ready land.

Oregon Real Estate

On the Market: threefer in Baker City, Ore.

Screen Shot 2020-02-23 at 11.14.30 AMPreservationists, entrepreneurs, or hoteliers take note: The Antlers & Rogers Hotels, as well as The Telephone Company buildings, are for sale. Here are the details:

  • Antlers hotel: Historic four-story brick hotel, main floor contains fully finished/leased commercial spaces. Upper 3 floors ready for build out.
  • Rogers building: Historic three-story tuff-stone hotel, main floor contains two leased commercial spaces. Upper 2 floors ready for build out.
  • Telephone Co. building: Recently used as a residence, this 6,000+ building was the original phone company to Baker and also served as an upscale restaurant.





Go here for more. As they say in the biz, bring your ideas. Antlers & Rogers can be sold separately.

Oregon Real Estate

House Hunt: Old Canby Schoolhouse

House Hunt is the occasional post on cool (mostly historic) homes and commercial spaces for sale across Oregon. And no, I’m not a Realtor. 

Is it practical? Not really? More than one bedroom? Nope. More than one bath? Negative. Lots of space? It’s 960 square feet.

But, whoa, it’s pretty cool.

Built in 1875, everything has been replaced – new roof, siding, windows, mini-split, additional garage, insulation and “a period-appropriate interior remodel.”



image-asset (1)

Here’s the Redfin listing.