Current design concept of the east plaza and entrance. Hennebery Eddy Architects and Vinci Hamp Architects.

Historic Landmarks Commission approves Rothko Pavilion project

On March 11, the City of Portland’s Historic Landmark Commission approved the design of the Portland Art Museum’s Rothko Pavilion and renovation project to make art more accessible to all.

The project includes the creation of a new, accessible central entry, connections between the two campus buildings at all levels, a vibrant new West Plaza, a pedestrian passageway between SW 10th Avenue and SW Park Avenue with views into the galleries, and the relocation of the loading dock from Park Avenue to Jefferson Avenue.

The Commission’s 4-0 vote for approval followed three previous design advisory sessions with the Landmarks Commission, where commissioners and members of the public offered input on the project.

“We are grateful for the commission’s advice that has culminated in the approval of this design,” said museum director Brian Ferriso. “We value the public process, which has shown how much Portlanders treasure the Museum’s place in the community and downtown neighborhood. We are looking forward to ongoing public engagement opportunities planned for later this summer. We anticipate there will be increased costs associated with changes that maximize accessibility and art experiences, and we are confident the community will share and support this vision.”

The Design Review Hearing included supportive testimony from several stakeholders, including Philip Wolfe, member of the Museum’s Accessibility Architecture Task Force; Anthony Belluschi, son of the Museum’s original architect Pietro Belluschi; architect and historic preservationist William (Bill) Hawkins III; and neighborhood residents.

The design approval is a major milestone for the project. With city, community, and neighborhood support the Museum is well positioned to continue its fundraising efforts.

Learn more about the Rothko Pavilion design and vision