Washington High is one of Portland’s newest hubs of creativity. SERA worked with Venerable Properties and Bremik Construction on the renovation of this historic 1924 red brick and concrete high school, which brought the unoccupied and deteriorating building up to code and infused it with new life. The result is a sought after space that balances modern office needs, a vibrant performing arts venue, and stewardship for one of the city’s architectural riches.
The ground floor space includes retail units, with seven spaces having independent accessible entries. Classrooms are now offices ranging in size from small turn-key suites to whole floor custom fit-outs. A new 2,400 sf rooftop deck with stunning views of downtown Portland is available to tenants and can be rented by the public for private events. The former auditorium in the center of the building, now named Revolution Hall, was acoustically isolated from the other tenant spaces and renovated into a concert and performance venue with 830 seats and two attached cafés/bars.
Much of the character and feeling of being in a school was retained through careful consideration of essential original features. Keeping the extra-wide hallways lined with lockers was a commitment on the part of the developer. Details such as IBM clocks, slate chalkboards, pencil sharpeners and teacher’s cabinets can be found in the offices, while memorabilia from the school’s rich history is displayed in a trophy case. On the exterior, restored masonry, terra cotta lion heads and classical columns remain to showcase the building’s history.