AKA: 511 Broadway Building, Portland, OR; Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA), Schnitzer, Arlene and Harold, Center for Art and DesignPortland, OR

Structure Type: built works - public buildings - post offices

Designers: Allied Works Architecture (firm); Fee, Grant, Building Contractor (firm); Hobart, Lewis P., Architect (firm); Bradley Thomas Cloepfil (architect); Grant Fee (building contractor); Lewis Parsons Hobart (architect); Hart Wood (architect)

Dates: constructed 1916-1918

6 stories, total floor area: 130,000 sq. ft.

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511 NW Broadway
Pearl District, Portland, OR 97209

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This US Federal Government building, housed the US Postal Service's Main Portland Office, as well as many other Federal agencies over the years, including the US Department of Agriculture, US Citizenship and Immigration Services and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and, more recently, the US Department of Homeland Security. In 02/2015, the Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) moved from its previous leased location in the Pearl District, into the renovated post office. The PNCA began as a division of the Portland Art Museum, and was known as the Museum Art School until it changed its name to PNCA in 1981. It formally separated from the Portland Art Museum in 1994.

Building History

The San Francisco architect Lewis Hobart (1873-1954) designed this Federal Building and US Post Office in Portland, OR. A competition for the design of the Portland facility took place in 1913, with the award going to the San Francisco firm of Bliss and Faville. Due to irregularities in the competition process, the design contest was reopened, this time won by Hobart's firm in 1914. Construction on the $1 million building took place in 1916-1918. (See Don Hibbard, Glenn E. Mason, Karen J. Weitze, Hart Wood: Architectural Regionalism in Hawaii, [Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2010], p. 37.)

The Architect and Engineer of California reported about Hobart in 09/1914: "Architect Louis P. Hobart of San Francisco has been honored by the selection of his competitive plans for the new million-dollar Postoffice [sic] building at Portland, Oregon. Architects invited by the Treasury Department form various cities east and west participated in the competition. The design is in the classic and calls for a three-story structure of steel and stone." (See "Honor for Architect Hobart," Architect and Engineer of California, vol. XXXVIII, no. 2, 09/1914, p. 117.)


Bradley Cloepfil of the Portland architectural firm, Allied Works Architecture, supervised the renovation that occurred during 2013-2015 and cost $32 million.

PCAD id: 16869