In January, FFA’s Edward Running and Tim Mitchell presented a lunchtime discussion at the University of Oregon’s College of Design in Portland. The informal dialogue targeted students in the Architecture, Interior Design, and Historic Preservation Departments. Edward and Tim spoke of the importance of recognizing that these three professional roles need to understand the points of view of a wide range of individuals. These individuals could be architects, consultants and project stakeholders of historic buildings. The goal was to understand the value each discipline brings to these projects and the vital part that collaboration plays in project outcomes.
Edward and Tim introduced four types of preservation treatments applied to historic buildings. They used real-world examples to highlight each one. These examples included the restoration of Paradise Inn at Mount Rainier National Park, the rehabilitation of and addition to a historic warehouse at the Minidoka National Historic Site for use as an interpretive center, and the radical adaptive re-use of the White Stag Block. The students were familiar with the last project as it’s where they currently spend their days studying! Other projects discussed included the renovation of the historic Galleria Building, which now serves as the home of Target’s downtown Portland store.
As the discussion concluded, the presenters introduced images and information from a recent historic structure assessment. Completed by both Edward and Tim, the project was an assessment of the University of Oregon’s Villard Hall on the Eugene Campus, one of the school’s earliest buildings. The presenters tasked the students to consider different solutions to save and transform the building for 21st-century academic uses. The exercise illustrated the importance of a highly-collaborative team of different design professionals, each bringing a unique and essential skill set to these meaningful projects.