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News > For a Piece of Portland History, Check Out these Lofts

Sure, there are plenty of lofts in Portland that were built in the last decade or so, but authentic industrial lofts are in short supply. The Edge, for example, is a soft urban loft that was built in the Pearl District in 2004, with contemporary interiors in each of the 123 lofts makes a resounding statement for modern design. But if the contemporary vibe just doesn't do it for you, its time to take a look at vintage.

The Landmark Lifestyle

When you purchase a classic loft in a landmark building, you aren’t just buying a cool place to live. You’re buying a piece of history. And in Portland, you’re buying a much sought-after piece of history. From the standpoint of artistry, you’re also investing in a timeless treasure that’s a fusion of original and new design elements. From the innovative architects that transformed their visions to brick, mortar and period masterpieces to the talented rebuilders that looked at an antiquated blank canvas and imagined luxury lifestyles, generations of creative genius molded each building.

Marshall Wells Lofts in the Pearl District is a prime example of industrial SOHO-style lofts. In 1910, Marshall-Wells Hardware Company began building the seven-story building as an industrial warehouse, which was designed by Burnham and Company – a famous Chicago architectural firm. After it sold to a retailer 68 years later, a pillow manufacturer occupied the building until Evergreen Northern LLC of Portland purchased the landmark in 1999 and began reconfiguring the interior into 164 authentic industrial lofts. Since opening in 2003, the beauty of landmark living here has revolved around the integration of original brick walls, woodwork,  exposed beams, tall ceilings and expansive windows with upscale design features like open floor plans, cork flooring and chic designer kitchens. Some lofts even come with an added historical bonus – notes carved in the exposed beams by workers during the industrial years. One can only imagine a hardworking man etching those notes a century ago.


The landmark that houses Avenue Lofts in the Pearl District dates back to 1923 when Meier and Frank Department Store built the eight-story building as its warehouse. Since Robert Ball unveiled his conversion efforts in 2004, 194 industrial lofts – including eight two-story townhomes and a few live and work condos – have incorporated the original towering ceilings, concrete columns and massive windows with upscale design schemes and luxury finishes like birds-eye maple floors, gourmet kitchens and open, light-filled floor plans. Marshall Wells Lofts and Avenue Lofts are both listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Is an Authentic Industrial Loft for You?

Living in an authentic industrial loft may sound like the lifestyle you’ve longed to live. The reality is, however, landmark lofts simply aren’t for everyone. Because they have been constructed in existing buildings - underground parking and balconies aren’t available, and storage is generally minimal. If your desire to have these amenities outweigh the historical value and charisma of an industrial loft, a soft urban loft or another condo choice may suit you better.

Our goal is to help you find a dream condo that matches your individual personality and lifestyle needs. Inventory on the market in historic lofts like  Chown Pella Lofts, Eleventh Avenue Lofts,  and Modern Confectionary are relatively rare.  If the ideal historic loft isn’t available now, we’ll keep an eye out and immediately alert you when one goes on the market.  Contact us for a full list of historic lofts ready for the right buyer.


Though not guaranteed, information and statistics in this article have been acquired from sources believed to be reliable.

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Avenue Lofts offer true lofts in the sense that these homes were converted from the early 20th century Meier & Frank department stores' industrial warehouse to a modern condo community in 2004. They are located in Portland's Pearl District at the corner of 14th Street and Irving. There are 172 units in this eight story mixed use building that has retail on the first floor. Eight of these residences are townhomes and a few units are configured as genuine live/work spaces.

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You might also be interested in MARSHALL WELLS LOFTSMARSHALL WELLS LOFTS Condos For Sale!

Own a piece of Portland history at Marshall Wells Lofts, and experience the authentic loft lifestyle. Built in 1910 and listed in the National Registry of Historical Places, this seven-story building was transformed from an industrial landmark to 164 SOHO-style lofts in 2001. Imagine incorporating your own design touches to the style and character of original brick walls, posts and exposed beams along with soaring ceilings, expansive windows with great city, river and mountain views and ...

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Chown Pella Lofts is the patriarch of authentic industrial lofts in the Pearl District. Built in 1910 and 1911 (two buildings together), this landmark mid-rise was converted to SOHO-style lofts in 1996. These upscale condos - which include eight two story residences - contain original brick walls, wood beams and exposed ductwork along with modern features like open floor plans, soaring ceilings, hardwood floors and luxury kitchens with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. ...

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The 97209 contains the Pearl District area of Portland OR. This is the most walkable urban area of Portland that spreads from the Willamette River on the east and north, to 21st Ave on the west, to Burnside to the South. Coffee shops, brewpubs and restaurants are on just about every corner.

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