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The City of Portland, Oregon

Planning and Sustainability

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Phone: 503-823-7700

Curbside Hotline: 503-823-7202

1900 SW 4th Ave, Suite 7100, Portland, OR 97201

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New Chinatown/Japantown Historic District Design Guidelines Headed to City Council September 14

The Portland City Council will hold a public hearing on the possible adoption of the New Chinatown/Japantown Historic District Design Guidelines at 2:00 p.m. on September 14. At this hearing, the Council wiImagell consider the adoption of draft historic district design guidelines recommended by the Portland Historic Landmarks Commission earlier this year. If adopted, the guidelines will serve as approval criteria for addition, alteration and new construction projects in Portland’s 10-block New Chinatown/Japantown Historic District.

Developed by the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, Prosper Portland, a 10-member stakeholder advisory committee and the Portland Historic Landmarks Commission, the recommended design guidelines celebrate the cultural and ethnic history of New Chinatown/Japantown by providing clear direction to design teams working within the historic district. Specific guidelines range from requiring the use of durable, high-quality materials and finishes to the integration of horizontally-oriented balconies on buildings new and old. 

The full draft recommended design guidelines are available for download.

How to Provide Testimony

The Portland City Council will consider the Recommended Draft New Chinatown/Japantown Historic District Design Guidelines at a public hearing on September 14, 2017, at 2:00 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chambers, located at 1221 SW 4th Avenue. Additional hearings may be scheduled, and Council maImagey hear testimony on elements of the related Central City 2035 Plan prior to the design guidelines being heard. Please confirm dates and times by checking the City Council calendar one week in advance.

In addition to attending a hearing, there are several other ways to provide testimony to the Portland City Council:

Email: Include “Historic District Design Guidelines Testimony” in the subject line and include your full name and mailing address.

By U.S. Mail: Brandon Spencer-Hartle, 1900 SW Fourth Ave., Suite 7100, Portland OR, 97201. Attn: Historic District Design Guidelines Testimony.


Project Background

ImageThe New Chinatown/Japantown Historic District is bound by NW Glisan Street to the north, NW 3rd Avenue on 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. The 10-block historic district was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989 because of the area’s significance in Chinese and Japanese culture, commerce and architecture during the 1880 to 1943 period. The historic district design guidelines were developed to replace the more general River District Design Guidelines as approval criteria for alteration, addition and new construction projects in the New Chinatown/Japantown Historic District.