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Sustaining Main St + Cultural Identity

Panel, Historic Hawthorne Exhibit, + PDX Main St. Design Initiative Kickoff

We're launching a new PDX Main St. Design Initiative with a celebration event, panel discussion, photo exhibit and recognition awards.

Panel Description | Just as existing structures contain embodied energy, the buildings and public spaces along our Main Streets hold stories, meanings and memories that can fade with time or be kept alive as our neighborhoods evolve. These layers of patina and pattern are treasure troves for those willing to draw inspiration from the past and carry it forward into the designs of the present and future. Our current building boom has put unprecedented pressure on Portland’s historic resources including its unreinforced masonry structures. It has also brought special challenges for those seeking to create a harmonious relationship between new buildings and their older neighbors. These conditions make the stories these places hold evermore important to highlight the value of historic resources, not only as worthy of preservation but as important precedents and building design “pattern languages” that are all too often forgotten by contemporary designers and developers.

A panel with City historic resource staff, community leaders, urban designers and preservationists will describe the key forces that shaped our Main Streets along with the current opportunities and challenges involved in preserving, adapting and translating the timeless design patterns of the past into a main street fabric for the future.

Audience: Community members, designers, planners, historians and streetcar era architecture enthusiasts.

*This event is one of two Design Week events to kick off a new Citywide Portland Main Street Design Initiative (an outgrowth of the grassroots led Division-Hawthorne Design Initiative and new SE Main St. Design Guidelines). Come celebrate this milestone with us!

Thank you to our event hosts at the Architectural Heritage Center, and our sponsors: Sustainable Southeast, the Hawthorne Boulevard Business Association, and Forage Design + Planning,

This Festival Event has ended.


Thursday, April 11, 2019 from 5:00pm to 8:00pm


Architectural Heritage Center


PDX Main Street Design Initiative

The PDX Main St. Design Initiative supports communities with tools, education and policy advocacy to advance design literacy and innovation. Be a design leader and show your love for our special historic streetcar main streets by become a founding design member or firm, an organization sponsor or collaborator of the PDX Main St Design Initiative! Email us to find out more.