Thursday, June 25, 2009

Tour Guide Perk: Downtown Walking Tour with Peter Chausse, Part 5

On our way to the South Park Blocks, Peter pointed out the newly renovated Ladd Carriage House. I took this photo as I walked across the street, thus I missed part of the LCH. I'll go back some time and get a better shot and look in the windows, of course.
Here's what Wikipedia has to say about this Portland jewel.

The Ladd Carriage House is a building in downtown Portland, Oregon. It is one of the few surviving pieces of the former grand estates which once existed in the downtown core. It was on the National Register of Historic Places from 1980 until 2008.[1][2]
The building served as an outbuilding to the William S. Ladd mansion, once located across Broadway on the block now occupied by the The Oregonian's headquarters.[3] Since its decommissioning as a private residential structure, it has been used as offices and retailing space.

House relocation and renovation
The future of the building was cast into doubt when the neighboring First Christian Church announced plans to redevelop the entire block. The congregation had bought the Ladd Carriage House in 1971, and sought to expand parking for its members. As part of the redevelopment, a condo tower, Ladd Tower, would be built above a parking garage. A demolition permit had been secured for the lot, but never used.[4] Nevertheless, this raised alarm bells in the preservationist community and a grass-roots campaign, the Friends of Ladd Carriage House, sprang into action to either save or move the old building. One proposal was to move the Carriage House to Lair Hill, but this was logistically complex (steep streets, crossing bridges, cutting Portland Streetcar lines).[5]

A compromise was agreed upon where the Ladd Carriage House would be moved temporarily while a new garage would be dug out, then the building would be moved back onto the lot. The plans for the condo tower were scaled back so that the tower's footprint only took up half the block, not three-quarters of it.

On June 16, 2007, after ground was broken on Ladd Tower, the Ladd Carriage House was moved to the parking lot owned by the Church of Christ, Scientist[5] at the corner of 10th and Columbia streets. This meant the house wouldn't need to cross the streetcar lines.[5] It was moved back to its original site on October 25, 2008.

Extensive renovations occurred after the Ladd Carriage House moved back to its original site. In April 2009 the house was repainted, going from shades of blue to shades of brown.[6]

Here's a quick shot I took as Sarah and I left the Portland Farmers Market on April 25. You can see part of the Ladd Tower behind its roof.

Here's just a bit about William S. Ladd from Wikipedia: William Sargent Ladd (October 10, 1826 – January 6, 1893) was an American politician and businessman in Oregon. He twice served as Portland, Oregon’s mayor in the 1850s. A native of Vermont, he was a prominent figure in the early development of Portland, and co-founded the first bank in the state in 1859. Ladd also built the first brick building in Portland and was a noted philanthropist. Part of his former estate, the Ladd Carriage House, was on the National Register of Historic Places until 2008.

There's more, so please keep coming along on the walk with us. I just noticed as I was working on this post that I completely left out an important fountain, so in the next few days we'll back track a bit before continuing on the South Park Blocks.

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