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columbus hall


The Columbus Hall building in Portland's Central Eastside has seen many lives throughout its long and colorful history. Originally built in 1907 as the Pacific States Telephone & Telegraph building, this contributing member of the Grand Avenue Historic District has been given new life after decades of deferred maintenance and incongruent alterations left the aged structure as an unrecognizable shell of its former self. Purchased in 2007, the new owners wanted to bring the old building back to its original glory, exactly 100 years after it originally opened its doors. The biggest challenge was retrofitting the brick and timber structure for modern seismic rigidity  without taking away from the intrinsic value of the hand-built materials and original flourishes. The owners were able to find a like-minded tenant, and the aged building was custom-tailored to their needs; creating open floor plans with corner meeting rooms enclosed in glass and individual break-out spaces hidden throughout the interconnected floors. The new was differentiated from the old by borrowing the industrial aesthetic from the cold-formed steel seismic bracing, keeping the new material palette simple and clean. The end result is a comfortable and contemporary office that hides vibrant and unique moments in highly immersive spaces.

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