North Park Blocks are Expanding

Help shape the future new park spaces at this kickoff event! There will be snacks and activities for kids. 

When: Thursday, February 29, 2024, 6:00 – 8:00pm

Where: Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA)
511 NW Broadway, enter on west side of building
Can’t make it? Info and an online survey will be posted after the event.

The North Park Blocks were dedicated to the City in 1869 and is one of the oldest parks in Portland. Currently, the blocks cover NW Park Avenue from SW Ankeny Street to NW Glisan Street.

The project will expand the North Park Blocks further north, with a focus on two sites/three blocks detailed below.  It will result in a design for three additional park blocks and construction of improvements to the “PNCA Block” – the first block north of the current Park Blocks.

 PNCA Block

  • This is an approximately 30,000 square foot parcel between NW Glisan and Hoyt Streets.
  • It is managed by Portland Parks & Recreation and is currently leased to Willamette University’s Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) for parking and display space for Lee Kelly’s sculpture, Memory 99.
  • When complete, this park will be the catalyst block between the historic North Park Blocks and the future Broadway Corridor and Green Loop developments.
  • Site 1 will be designed and constructed as part of this project.

Expanded “First Thursdays” Returns to the North Park Blocks – Oct 5th

Re-posted from PNCA

On Thursday, Oct. 5, 2023, Willamette University’s Pacific Northwest College of Art will throw open its doors and welcome the Portland community for the first of a series of exhibition openings, performances, live music, drop-in activities, and food.

With support from a grant from the City of Portland, PNCA’s Center for Contemporary Art & Culture is revamping the signature neighborhood event series that had been a highlight of art and culture in the Pearl District and North Park Blocks. Now called First Thursdays in the North Park Blocks, the monthly events will feature food, music, and celebration while highlighting Portland’s distinctive art scene. After kicking off on Oct. 5, the expanded First Thursdays events will continue into 2024.

Exhibitions on View in the North Park Blocks

Hip Hop Lives The Remix: An Ode To The Culture – The Black Gallery by DSPDX

First Thursday Hip Hop 50 Paint and Sip at the Black Gallery- RSVP

You Ni Chae and Brad Mildrexler – Adams and Ollman

Occidental by Richard Mosse – Blue Sky, Oregon Center for Photographic Arts

Contours of Instinct and Nuance by Willy Heeks – Elizabeth Leach Gallery

28th Anniversary Group Exhibition – Froelick Gallery

Exhibitions by Clint Brown, Barbara Black & Linda Neufer and Monica Mitchell – Blackfish Gallery

Unladed by Micah Kassell – Laura Vincent Design and Gallery

ASSEMBLY, Converge 45 Social Forms: Art as Global Citizenship – Stelo Arts

Photography by Jason Quigley + 20/10 – A Music Retrospective  The Writer’s Block

Join us at The Writers’ Block Studio (818 NW Flanders at Park) for an extra special First Thursday featuring a 20 year retrospective of music photography by Jason Quigley

In addition to an amazing display of photographs featuring some of Portland’s most iconic bands, we’ll also have live music including the prolific DJ Papi Fimbres, and a solo acoustic set by Kyle Morton, leader of the magnificent band Typhoon.

Save the Date for upcoming First Thursdays!

November 2**, December 7, February 1 , March 7 , April 4** , May 2**, June 6**
(** Expanded special programming at PNCA on these dates)

North Park Blocks’ “Harlow Hotel” Wins Design Award

Reposted from Restore Oregon (Photos courtesy of Restore Oregon)

Harlow Hotel, 1882: One of Restore Oregon’s 2023 DeMuro Award Winners

Restore Oregon’s DeMuro Awards recognize superior restorations and outstanding leadership in historic preservation

Harlow Hotel

Location: 722 NW Glisan St in the North Park Blocks – Portland, Oregon
Year Constructed: 1882
Work Completed: 2019
Nominator: Arciform
Project Budget: $8M

History: The Harlow Hotel is a three-story Italianate brick building with arcuated fenestration. Built in 1882, it is believed to be the second oldest commercial structure in its neighborhood. In the 1930s, the hotel and its storefronts were managed by Japanese American proprietors who were later sent to internment camps after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Following the war, Japanese Americans returned as residents and proprietors until the building was shuttered in 1972. In 2008, the hotel was purchased by Ganesh and Pinky Sonpatki who operate several moderately-priced hotels under the Portland Value Inns brand. 

Overview: Until recently, the only guests at this historic hotel were pigeons who checked in through broken windows. These days, following a major interior and exterior overhaul, human visitors can enjoy private baths with heated towel racks, and rich textiles and finishes including velvet, geometric textured headboards, and natural metals and glass evoking the Art Deco style. Exterior brick has been repointed, the foundation has been strengthened, and interior wall framing has been replaced with steel posts and beams. Parapet bracing, a new elevator shaft, concrete shear walls, and steel brace frames have been added as part of unreinforced masonry seismic retrofitting along with new wood windows and transoms. Historic cornices have been either repaired or replaced, and insulated glass has been added to the reweighted windows. New doors have been created for each entrance, and a side staircase was completely rebuilt, replacing all stair parts including the turned balusters and newels. Renovations on the hotel began in 2009, and work was completed a decade later thanks in part to a federal Historic Tax Credit.

Congratulations to the entire project team:
Chesshir Architecture PC
Param Hotel Group
Mega Pacific GC
WCI, Wholesale Commercial Interiors
Anctil / Bachofner Electric/ Paramount Electric / Western Plumbing
Heritage Consulting Group
Versatile Wood Products
Wood Originals, Inc
Apex Build & Remodel
EC Electrical
Pacific Fitness Products llc
Big Idea PDX

Support the work of Restore Oregon

North Park Blocks Welcomes Back “Art in the Pearl 2023”

Art In The Pearl® is back this weekend. Enjoy art, music and food in the cool shade of the North Park Blocks towering elms.

Art In The Pearl has been named one of the top 10 Arts and Crafts Festivals in the country (source: Art Fair Source Book).

Scroll through the gallery of photos from the first day 2023

Art In The Pearl is Portland Oregon’s annual Fine Arts & Crafts Festival. It is held every year on Labor Day weekend. The 27th annual festival will occur Labor Day Weekend, 2023 in the Pearl District’s North Park Blocks -September 2, September 3 and September 4, 2023.

10am-6pm, Saturday and Sunday (September 2nd and September 3rd, 2023)
10am-4pm, Monday (September 4th, 2023)

The Festival is FREE and requires NO TICKETS for entry. Our festival fills the Northwest Portland Park blocks with art, theater, music, and hands-on activities for people of all ages.

More info here

North Park Blocks: The Home of “Art in the Pearl” Fine Arts & Crafts Festival

Are you looking for a fun and creative way to spend your Labor Day weekend? If so, you should check out Art in the Pearl, Portland’s annual Fine Arts & Crafts Festival. This event showcases the work of over 130 artists from across the country, who will display and sell their original creations in various media, such as painting, sculpture, photography, jewelry, ceramics, and more. You can also enjoy live music, theater, and hands-on activities for all ages.

Art in the Pearl is located in the beautiful North Park Blocks, a historic green space in the heart of the Pearl District. The park is surrounded by trendy shops, cafes, galleries, and restaurants, making it a perfect destination for a day out in the city. You can stroll through the park, admire the art, chat with the artists, and sample some delicious food from local vendors.

The 2023 festival is free and open to the public, and runs from 10am to 6pm on Saturday and Sunday (September 2nd and 3rd), and from 10am to 4pm on Monday (September 4th). No tickets are required for entry. Art in the Pearl has been named one of the top 10 Arts and Crafts Festivals in the country by Art Fair Source Book, so you don’t want to miss this opportunity to experience some of the best art and culture that Portland has to offer. Come and join us for a memorable and inspiring weekend at Art in the Pearl!