Last fall, SRG Partnership co-founder Jon Schleuning received the 2014 Medal of Honor from the American Institute of Architects' Northwest & Pacific Region, awarded to architects who have demonstrated excellence in design, architectural education, or service to the profession while promoting public understanding of architects and architecture. Founded in 1972, SRG Partnership has distinguished itself over the decades with experience in both historic preservation and in new construction, with an emphasis on sustainability and research. SRG's projects usually aren't flashy, but they possess a timelessness and rigor that reflects the wisdom of Schleuning and a team including principals like Kent Duffy and Dennis Cusack.

SRG's offices overlook Pioneer Courthouse Square from a classic A.E. Doyle-designed building from the early 20th century. How does the urban setting outside your window reflect the kind of work you like to embrace as planner and architect?

It speaks to the power of mid-rise high density. You look at the differences between what’s happening in South Waterfront and what's happening in the earlier portions of the Pearl District. The  mid-rise high density allows me to sit here and see people's faces. This time of year you’ll start getting the guitarist on the corner or the bell-ringer for Christmas. You talk about connectivity. I practiced for a year and a half on the 16th floor of what was the Georgia Pacific building where you don’t have that kind of connectivity. When you talk about density from and urban point of view, the important part is you want not only this visual connectivity, but also the physical connectivity. If you have to walk 400 feet before you can turn 90 degrees, that’s not successful. You’ve got to be able to move laterally and be able to have greater choice. When you do that you’ve got shafts of light coming in, you’ve got some other view corridors. It’s not just about low-rise or high-rise or mid-rise. The density is the denominator that makes the urbanism.
 



What We’re Doing

We met many Pearl neighbors who were frustrated by an inability to obtain information on the specific proposal, Portland’s development processes, and how to participate.  We wanted to provide a website that collected and disseminated information, and encouraged residents to come together and make their voices heard. 

Neighbors from the Pearl District, Goose Hollow, and the West End attended each of the Design Advice Request hearings to give testimony on a myriad of concerns including livability, sustainability, shadows cast on public spaces, and city design requirements that were not being met by the developer.  Participation in processes such as these can be time consuming, sometimes daunting, and frequently frustrating.  But it is only through this kind of public engagement that change occurs.  Along the way, we have been inspired by the successes of other grassroots neighborhood groups.  One of which tenaciously opposed pile driving, resulting in a quieter technique, and another that organized such a strong and unified opposition that they put a stop to the proposed rezoning that would allow development of a parking garage on a residential block of Goose Hollow, known as Block 7. 


Preserve the Pearl LLC formed to give voice to Pearl residents who were not being heard.  Although the initial impetus was Block 136, we have been actively involved in many other development issues in Portland, including advocating for changes in the West Quadrant Plan which proposes drastically raising building height limitations. 

Public participation in Portland’s development processes and legislation is critical.  Please join us.  Your support is greatly needed, and greatly appreciated.

Couldn't have said it better than...

Preserve the Pearl   LLC


What we're interested in

The mission of Preserve the Pearl LLC is to advocate for thoughtful and responsible development that protects the unique character of Portland’s neighborhoods.  Portland is beloved for its charm, which combines historic streets and buildings, progressive innovation, and human-scale livability.  All of these attributes draw new residents from around the United States and the world. 

​As Portland grows, we believe it is imperative to protect these priceless assets, because once they are gone, they are lost for good.  Preserve the Pearl LLC formed when a group of Pearl residents came together to oppose the development of a 15-story apartment tower proposed on the current site – known as Block 136 – of the Portland Northwest College of Art (PNCA).  Block 136 is one block from the designated historic district on NW 13th Avenue.  The tower would rise to three times the height of the surrounding low-rise buildings.  

Central City Plan and West Quadrant Plan

Development (new buildings in progress, zoning, height limitations, FAR)


​Demolition and infill


Preservation of historic buildings
​​Preservation of the unique character of Portland neighborhoods

Neighborhood Associations (how they function and interact with residents)

Livability and sustainability​