The Project

washington high school interior wall construction portland oregon PDX

2014 Adaptive Reuse

Plans for the Washington High School revitalization project focused on preserving the building’s historical integrity, restoring the exterior façade, and giving new life to the building’s interior core.   SERA Architects was selected as the project’s architect and Bremik Construction was the general contractor.

The 23,040-square-foot ground floor  features new entries, allowing direct access for tenants along SE Stark and SE 14th Avenue.  The second, third, and fourth levels include over 50,000 SF of creative/flex office space.  And, at the heart of the building, is a historic auditorium that hosts performances and corporate events.

The school was modernized with all the comforts and amenities expected in a new building, while retaining just the right amount of its vintage high school character.  The building includes new heating and cooling, new plumbing, new electrical service, a new freight elevator, and is fully ADA-accessible.

The literal crowning jewel of this restored building is the 2,680 SF roof deck.  With panoramic views of downtown and Portland’s eastside, the deck is not only a tenant amenity, but can be rented for weddings and events.


Washington High School sat vacant for decades and the Central Eastside neighborhoods long desired that the school be returned to an active, community-enhancing use.  Art DeMuro—preservationist and founder of Venerable Group, Inc.—championed the sale and redevelopment of the school, and was instrumental in the property being sold by the Portland Public School District.  Art passed away in 2012 before his dream could be realized, but Craig Kelly and the team at Venerable persevered.  With the addition of investment partner Pacific Realty Associates, L.P. “PacTrust,” a feasible new use for the property was found and, in October 2013, Portland Public Schools sold Washington High School to the partnership.  Work on the building commenced shortly thereafter and was completed in early 2015.

Art DeMuro at his most notable historic preservation project--The White Stag Block in Skidmore Old Town.

Art DeMuro at his most notable historic preservation project–The White Stag Block in Skidmore Old Town.