Portland City Hall

Portland City Hall has stood as an urban landmark in Portland since its construction in 1895. The design developed by SERA renovates this historic structure to a safe, efficient, functional facility and restores City Hall as the ceremonial center of city government in Portland.

The renovation design included restoring and preserving the historic marble, ornate plaster and scagliola classical columns in the public corridors, opening up the four‑story light courts which had been infilled, and returning the Council Chambers to its original design configuration with the new integration of state-of-the-art audiovisual and television broadcast capabilities.

SERA renovated the office areas to meet modern requirements for flexibility, efficiency and future communication needs. The building was brought up to current seismic code to resist earthquake failure, and new mechanical and electrical systems were incorporated throughout. This renovation has received acclaim from both tenants and public alike, and 13 professional awards.

Elected officials now enjoy state-of-the-art offices that meet requirements for maximum flexibility in data and communications systems. Ergonomic furnishings and indirect lighting systems create a comfortable, productive environment for staff in open office workstations and private offices. The retrofit also achieved reusable energy and water consumption goals: 25% energy reduction and 80% water savings.



  • AIA Northwest & Pacific Region Design Award, 2000

  • Architecture + Energy Cornerstone Award, AIA Portland Chapter, 1999

  • Special Achievement Award for Exemplary Rehabilitation and Seismic Retrofit, Oregon State Historic Preservation Office, 1999

  • Merit Award, IIDA Portland Chapter , 1999