a.k.a. "the Old Church"
Architect: Warren H. Williams, 1882
While its belfry tower is the first
thing one notices, observers now shake their head at the sandwiching of this distinguished building between two modern towers. Yet this site was originally criticized as being too "far out in the country" for its members to easily reach. (The MAX line isn't that far away.) Although the style of the church's exterior is Gothic, its materials are not. Traditional Gothic cathedrals are made of stone, while this church has been primarily done in wood (leading some to call it a "Carpenter Gothic" church), to no detriment of its appearance.
There are a lot of wooden details to take in here, as baroque window arches, stained glass, and buttresses abound. The chimneys and steeples have clover dovecote motifs, while the interior of the church has an assortment of styles hidden within its plaster window moldings, vaulted, ribbed ceilings, and cast-iron columns.
In the late 1960s, the Old Church went up for sale, and some parties advised moving it to a new location on Sauvie Island. The church weathered the storm, and a 1969 restoration restored its original porte-cochere, which had been saved and squirreled away years before by local salvage saints Jerry Bosco and Ben Milligan.
Warren Heywood Williams (1844-1888) donated his design for this church and oversaw its construction pro bono as well. Williams moved to Portland from San Francisco in 1872, a well-timed arrival as Stumptown's ruinous downtown fires at the time provided many new commissions. Williams was known as a master of cast-iron architecture and high-rises; he also designed the original Temple Beth Israel (1888; it went up in flames in 1923).
Next to the Old Church is the self-consciously quirky Mosaic (2003, 1400 SW 11th Avenue, Myhre Group Architects,) This Ã¼ber-geometric eight-story building features dramatic ceiling-to-floor windows, something that preceded the nearby Eliot's look by a few years. And not too far off is Museum Place (2003, 1039 SW Jefferson, GBD Architects), a $42 million project that placed apartments, lofts, and townhouses over a Safeway. These two buildings were the first big developments the neighborhood had seen in years, and more followed right after them.Less Text