Henry Building Renovation

The 1909 Henry Building provides deeply-affordable housing and resident services in downtown Portland, but its status as an un-reinforced masonry structure and listing on the National Register of Historic Places created a unique challenge for our design team. As part of the renovation to add residential units and update systems, our retrofit strategy had to be implemented without impacting the exterior façade, the interior daylight atrium, or many of the interior features with historic significance.

Along with a structural floor diaphragm, we added four concrete cores that act as the primary vertical elements of the seismic structure. The cores created space for elevator shafts and public restrooms at each level, and additional residential units along the central atrium. Importantly, our solution was an affordable option for our nonprofit client Central City Concern.

Upon reopening, residents and staff immediately recognized brighter, more open spaces that function better and highlight the building’s cherished historic elements.