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Community invited to discuss African American Historic Sites Documentation Project

The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, with support from the nonprofit Architectural Heritage Center, continues the year-long effort to document historic resources associated with Portland’s African American experience. The endeavor’s final product will be a Multiple Property Documentation (MPD) form, a National Register of Historic Places umbrella document which captures the significance of a thematic grouping of historic resources. The MPD will not designate any property as historic, but will make it easier for owners of African American historic resources to voluntarily nominate their property for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places in the future.

1904 Rutherford House
The 1904 Rutherford House was listed in the National Register of Historic Places for its association with significant civil rights leaders Otto and Verdell Rutherford and for its role as an NAACP meeting space during the 1950s. Photo courtesy Addam Goard. 

The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability and Architectural Heritage Center are committed to the meaningful involvement of those who own, rent, and care about African American historic resources. A community forum on the project will be held on Saturday, July 15, 2017, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the lower level of Vancouver Avenue First Baptist Church located at 3138 N Vancouver Avenue.

Property owners, tenants, and the public are invited and encouraged to attend the July 15 community forum. Attendees are encouraged to bring photographs, stories, and other documentation that may aid in identifying and documenting significant historic resources associated with the African American experience in Portland. The community forum’s venue, Vancouver Avenue First Baptist Church, was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2016 for its significant connection to African American Portlanders following the 1948 Vanport flood. An accessible entrance to the church is located on the Fargo Street side of the building. Refreshments will be provided by the Architectural Heritage Center.

1910 Rinehart Building
The 1910 Rinehart Building (also known as the Cleo-Lillian Social Club) was listed in the National Register of Historic Places as one of the few remaining commercial buildings in Albina associated with the social and cultural fabric of the African American community. Photo courtesy Addam Goard.  

If you are unable to attend the community forum on July 15th but have information or questions about the project, you are welcome to contact Architectural Heritage Center project researchers Cathy Galbraith and Kimberly Moreland at (503) 231-7264 (please leave messages with your name and phone number). The project is expected to be completed by early fall 2017.