PORTLAND, OR – Draft design guidelines are currently being considered for building alterations and new construction in the New Chinatown/Japantown Historic District. The primary objective of the guidelines is to allow and encourage changes in the District, bringing needed vibrancy while also preserving and showcasing its unique, multi-ethnic history. The guidelines relate to various exterior and façade elements, from signs and awnings to characteristics of new construction and additions to existing buildings.

A public open house to review and comment on the design guidelines is scheduled for Wednesday, June 15 from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Commission Conference Room at the Portland Development Commission, located at 222 NW 5th Avenue. The drop-in style open house will include summaries of key guidelines for review and comment. Staff will be available to answer questions and collect feedback. Everyone is welcome to attend.

The draft design guidelines were developed with input from a Stakeholder Advisory Committee, formed to provide recommendations to the project team based on their knowledge and expertise related to land use, architecture, history, property development and familiarity with the community. Community input on the draft guidelines will be considered by the project team and the committee as they develop their final recommendation. The guidelines will then be forwarded to the Historic Landmarks Commission for endorsement and then to City Council for adoption.

Once in place, the design guidelines will be used as approval criteria during historic resource reviews of both new construction and exterior alterations/additions to existing buildings.

Project Information

The New Chinatown/Japantown Historic District is bound by NW Glisan Street to the north, NW 3rd Avenue to the east, West Burnside Street to the south, and NW 5th Avenue to the west. Primary architectural styles include Italianate, 20th Century Commercial, and Moderne. This 10-block historic district was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989 because of the area’s significant history and heritage of Asian culture, industry, commerce and architecture.

The design guidelines are being developed by the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability and the Portland Development Commission with input from stakeholders and the community. The project team values and encourages input from the community about this project. For more information, visit www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/70480

Contact: Shawn Uhlman, PDC, 503-823-7994 or Sarah Harpole, PDC, 503-823-3337