Building Oregon

Chapman School (Portland, Oregon)

Chapman School (Portland, Oregon)
LC Subject
Architecture, American Architecture--United States
Chapman Elementary School (Portland, Oregon)
White, F. Manson
Creator Display
Frederick Manson White (architect, 1863-1952)
This image is included in Building Oregon: Architecture of Oregon and the Pacific Northwest, a digital collection which provides documentation about the architectural heritage of the Pacific Northwest.
Oregon Historic Site Form. Prepared by Iris Eschen.
University of Oregon Libraries
Style Period
Work Type
architecture (object genre) built works views (visual works) exterior views public schools (buildings) rooms (interior spaces) architectural drawings (visual works) plans (orthographic projections) floor-plan drawings
Portland >> Clackamas County >> Oregon >> West >> United States Multnomah County >> Oregon >> West >> United States Oregon >> West >> United States United States
Street Address
1445 NW 26th Avenue
View Date
Educational Use Permitted
Brick; Cast stone
Building Oregon
Primary Set
Building Oregon
University of Oregon
PPS Historic Building Assessment 2009
Oregon Historic Site Form Chapman School 1445 26th Ave Portland, Multnomah County block nbr: lot nbr: tax lot nbr: township: range: section: 1/ 4: LOCATION AND PROPERTY NAME elig. evaluation: eligible/ significant primary orig use: School secondary orig use: primary style: Classical Revival: other secondary style: primary siding: Standard Brick secondary siding: Cast Stone plan type: School ( General) Portland historic name: Chapman School primary constr date: 1923 secondary date: height (# stories): 3 total # ineligible resources: 2 ( optional-- use for major addns) current/ other names: Chapman Elementary School ( c.) ( c.) orig use comments: prim style comments: sec style comments: location descr: assoc addresses: vcnty address: ( remote sites) siding comments: PROPERTY CHARACTERISTICS farmstead/ cluster name: zip: total # eligible resources: 1 apprx. addrs resource type: Building NR status: RLS survey date: 6/ 22/ 2009 external site #: 146 ( ID# used in city/ agency database) survey project name or other grouping name comments/ notes: HRI Rank II. ILS survey date: 6/ 22/ 2009 Gen File date: SHPO INFO FOR THIS PROPERTY NR date listed: GROUPINGS / ASSOCIATIONS Optional Information 1445 NW 26th Ave Multnomah County ( former addresses, intersections, etc.) architect: White, F. Manson builder: NR date listed: ( indiv listed only; see Grouping for hist dist) 106 Project( s) PPS Historic Building Assessment 2009 Survey & Inventory Project East elevation entry Printed on: 10/ 14/ 2009 Page 1 of 4 Oregon Historic Site Form Chapman School 1445 26th Ave Portland, Multnomah County ARCHITECTURAL / PROPERTY DESCRIPTION ( Include expanded description of the building/ property, setting, significant landscape features, outbuildings, and alterations) Description Summary Situated in a primarily single family, residential neighborhood in the Northwest District of Portland, the Chapman Elementary School is located at 1445 NW 26th Avenue. The 4.8- acre campus consists of a primary classroom building ( 146A), a portable building ( 146P), and a covered playshed ( 146B). Built in 1923, the main building is a flat roof, reinforced concrete structure with brick cladding. The square mass of the building rests on a concrete foundation. Designed in the Classical Revival style, the building features cast stone ornamentation and a concrete classical- style front entry with Ionic columns. The two- story building features a basement, and provides facilities for classrooms, a gymnasium, an auditorium, playrooms, and an administrative office. Architectural Description The Chapman Elementary School, which faces Wallace Park, is situated on a mostly grass- covered campus. Recreational facilities include a substantial playfield located to the west of the main building and asphalt covered playgrounds to the north and northwest of the school. A covered, open- sided play shed ( 146B) is located on the northwest corner of the campus. The portable is ( 146P) located at the south end of the parcel. The two- story, square- plan school building is approached from the east side. The reinforced concrete building is clad with variegated brick. The building is covered by a flat roof and sits on a concrete foundation. The primary ( east) elevation is dominated by a projecting classical style, concrete portico/ front entry with a decorative cast stone cartouche, laurel wreaths, and a medallion. A concrete string course on the side and front elevations provides additional decoration. Concrete entrances project from the corners of the north and south elevations. The rear ( west) elevation includes the high bay gymnasium with a rectangular extension that houses the boiler room. The roof of the boiler room is masked by a parapet. A brick clad ventilation stack with bands of concrete projects above the boiler room. The fenestration on the front and side elevations consists primarily of symmetrically placed metal frame replacement windows with a horizontal sliding opening at the bottom of the window. Divided into three horizontal sections, the upper section of each window is blocked off with louver vents inserted in the corners. Other windows consist of wood frame multi- light windows in three columns on the stairwell landings. The original double hung sash wood frame windows have been retained in the gymnasium. The interior layout of the school consists of a modified U- shaped hallway plan with the main corridor running north- south. The staircases are located in each corner of the building. The stairwells retain their concrete steps and landing, veneer plaster walls, wooden railings, and steam radiators. The front entry is into a lobby that features a tiled ceiling, wooden wall detailing and original marble floor. The auditorium is located immediately opposite the lobby. The entrance to the auditorium is highlighted by well- preserved murals that surround the hallway door inscribed with the phrase “ Send us forth to be Builders of a Better World.” Original wood double leaf doors provide access to the auditorium. The room retains its wooden seats, balcony, stage, and ceiling and wall lighting fixtures. The gymnasium is located at the center of the west side of the school. The flat roof of the double height space is supported by a steel truss. The space is illuminated by wooden double hung sash windows. Finishes include concrete walls and wood floors. Tables and benches that recess into the wall facilitate the use of the space as a cafeteria. A 1950’ s style kitchen with its original aluminum fixtures and a skylight is situated adjacent to the gym. The single loaded hallways retain their original configuration and features. Tubular fluorescent light fixtures are suspended from the acoustic tile clad ceiling. Flooring consists of a combination of linoleum tiles, concrete and faux- marble. Original wooden doors provide access to the classrooms from the hallways. The classrooms are primarily square or rectangular. The rooms retain their original configurations, height, wood molding, and chalk boards. Built- in cabinetry for storing coats and supplies is recessed in the interior wall. The cabinets retain their wooden doors. All of the rooms have veneer plaster walls and tubular fluorescent light fixtures suspended from the acoustic tile clad ceiling. The building is heated by steam boilers located in the room behind the gymnasium. Radiators with metal covers are found in the hallways and in the classrooms. Grilles set in the wall provide heat and cool air for the basement rooms. Cool air is pushed through the building’s vents by compressor- powered fans. Alterations/ Integrity The first major modification to Chapman School campus was the addition of a three- classroom portable in 1963- 64. The first major alteration to the main building was the replacement of most of the original, wood frame windows in 1985. The open- sided, covered play shed was added in 1988 ( Chapman Facility Profile, Chapman Facility Plan). Chapman School retains a high degree of integrity. Except for the replacement of most of the original windows, the school’s distinctive exterior and interior architectural features have been retained. The brick cladding, cast stone and terra cotta ornamentation, and concrete classical- style front entry with Ionic columns it intact. The interior, especially the auditorium, still has its original configuration, finishes, and features. The murals that surround the entrance to the auditorium are well- preserved. The classrooms exhibit their original configurations and built- in cabinets. Printed on: 10/ 14/ 2009 Page 2 of 4 Oregon Historic Site Form Chapman School 1445 26th Ave Portland, Multnomah County HISTORY ( Chronological, descriptive history of the property from its construction through at least the historic period [ preferably to the present]) RESEARCH INFORMATION Title Records Sanborn Maps Obituaries City Directories Census Records Biographical Sources Newspapers Building Permits Property Tax Records SHPO Files State Archives State Library Local Histories Interviews Historic Photographs Local Library: Multnomah County Library University Library: Portland State University Library Historical Society: Oregon Historical Society Other Repository: PPS Archives ( Check all of the basic sources consulted and cite specific important sources) Statement of Significance Named for William Chapman, one of the early settlers of Portland, the district acquired the Chapman School property for $ 65,600 in 1922 ( Snyder 1979: 237; Portland Chronology Binder). The school was built by the Hilmer J Settergren construction firm in 1923 for $ 274,704 ( Oregonian. 04- 10- 1923; Portland Chronology Binder). The school was part of a dramatic building program begun by Portland Public Schools in the early 1900s. Gradually influenced by John Dewey’s Progressive Education Movement, the school board responded to changing city demographics and ideas concerning school safety, sanitation, and child centered instructional methods beginning in the first decade of the 1900s ( Rippa 1997: passim; Cremin 1961: 135- 153; Cubberley 1915: 283- 290). By 1905, it became increasingly clear that dramatic increases in school- age children outstripped the district’s existing classroom capacity and the existing schools could not effectively serve areas of the city with new residential development ( Cubberley 1915: 283- 285, 288- 290). After several well- publicized school fires elsewhere in the United States, calls for a more fundamental change in the building stock of the district began as early as 1906 when Mayor Lane called for the construction of new “ fireproof” school buildings ( Oregonian 10- 31- 1906). In 1910, various city neighborhood “ advancement clubs” joined forces to discuss the unfit school buildings in their respective neighborhoods ( Oregonian 07- 31- 1910). Soon after this meeting, on August 16, 1910, the Portland City Council enacted a requirement that all schools constructed after January 1, 1911 would have to be of fire proof construction ( Powers and Corning 1937: 183). By 1914, in the first joint meeting between Portland city officials, Multnomah County Commissioners, and the school board, officials agreed to work with building code officials to encourage the use of fireproof construction and to implement fire safety measures in all existing and future schools ( Oregonian 03- 31- 1914). In 1908, Portland Public Schools created the Bureau of Properties in an effort to centralize the management of the district’s various properties ( Powers and Corning 1937: 182). Within this office, the District architect took on a more formalized role in the design and maintenance of school facilities. Two of the most influential district architects during this period included Floyd Naramore and George Jones who designed a majority of the schools from 1908 to 1932. Although Naramore and Jones designed the majority of schools during this period, the district employed several architects to design individual buildings. The Chapman School was designed by Portland architect Frederick Mason White. A native of Derby, England, Frederick White first practiced architecture in New York in the office of his uncle, Stanford White, a partner in the firm of McKim, Mead & White. Frederick White arrived in Portland in the late 1880s, where he worked briefly with the firm of McCaw & Martin before establishing his own firm in 1892. White is best known for his work in Portland on the Sherlock Building ( 1893), the Imperial Hotel ( 1894), and the Auditorium Building ( 1895) in Richardsonian Romanesque style. In his later career, he designed several churches, including the Central Presbyterian Church in Portland ( 1924), the First Baptist Church in McMinnville ( 1927), and the First Presbyterian Church in Medford ( 1927) ( Ritz 2002: 418). White’s design for Chapman school became a prototype used for the design of other Portland schools such as Ockley Green, Sunnyside, and Peninsula ( Oregonian. 04- 14- 1923). Like Chapman and many of the Jones schools, these new school buildings were often constructed of brick and concrete and were one or two stories in height. To speed the construction of the new schools and to anticipate later growth in the neighborhood, these new buildings were often constructed in units ( sometimes referred to as extensible schools) ( Powers and Corning 1937: 182). The buildings also contained more differentiated and increasingly specialized instructional spaces such as libraries, gymnasiums, science rooms, music rooms, as well as assembly spaces ( Powers and Corning 1937: 182). While the interiors of many of the schools followed a common plan, the architectural details were varied to give each school “ an individuality of its own” ( Oregonian School. 04- 14- 1923). The architectural details of the new schools were largely encompassed by the Classical Revival, Colonial Revival, and Collegiate Gothic styles; architectural revivals that were viewed as inspirational and appropriate for educational settings ( Betelle 1919: 28; Sibley 1923: 66; Patton 1967: 1- 8). Chapman Elementary School retains excellent integrity with minimal alterations to its plan, exterior, and interior finishes. The 1923 Classical Revival school is recommended as eligible for the National Register of Historic Places ( NRHP) for its association with progressive era public school construction in Portland ( Criterion A). The Classical Revival design by White for Chapman Elementary School served as a model for several school buildings that were constructed during the early- twentieth century. It embodies the distinctive characteristics of the Classical Revival style as applied to school buildings in Portland and is eligible for listing in the NRHP under Criterion C. Printed on: 10/ 14/ 2009 Page 3 of 4 Oregon Historic Site Form Chapman School 1445 26th Ave Portland, Multnomah County Bibliography: Bibliography Betelle, James O. “ Architectural Styles as Applied to School Buildings.” American School Board Journal. Vol. 58 ( April 1919). Cremin, Lawrence. The Transformation of the School: Progressivism in American Education, 1876- 1957. New York: A. Knopt, 1961. Cubberley, Ellwood Patterson. The Portland Survey: A Textbook on City School Administration Based on a Concrete Study. Yonkers-on- Hudson, NY: World Book Co., 1915. Oregonian. “ Change Favored in School Buildings.” 3- 31- 1914. Oregonian. “ Mayor Lane and the Schools.” 10- 31- 1906. Oregonian. “ School Buildings are Called Unfit.” 7- 31- 1910. Oregonian. “ School Contracts Let.” 04- 10- 1923 Oregonian. “ School Plans Begun.” 04- 14- 1923. Portland Public Schools. Schools Chronology Binder. _______. Chapman School Facility Plan. _______. Chapman School Facility Profile. Powers, Alfred and Howard McKinley Corning, History of Education in Portland. [ Portland]: Work Projects Administration, 1937. Rippa, Alexander. Education in a Free Society: An American History. New York: Longman, 1997. Ritz, Richard. E. Architects of Oregon. A Biographical Dictionary of Architects Deceased – 19th and 20th Centuries. Portland: Lair Hill Publishing, 2002. Sibley, Ernest. “ Why I Prefer the Colonial Style.” School Board Journal: Vol. 66 ( January 1923). Snyder, Eugene E. Portland Names and Neighborhoods. Their Historic Origins. Portland: Binforrd & Mort Publishing; 1st edition 1979. Printed on: 10/ 14/ 2009 Page 4 of 4 East elevation entry East elevation entry North elevation South and west elevations Chapman School Exterior Photos ENTRIX, 2009 East elevation entry Classroom facing east Gymnasium facing west Auditorium facing east Corridor facing south Corridor facing south Chapman School Interior Photos ENTRIX, 2009 1950 Sanborn Fire Insurance Company Map, Portland, Oregon, Map 23. Arrow points to Chapman Public School. Chapman School 1445 NW 26th Ave, Portland OR, 97210 Building Periods 1. Main Bldg ( 146A), 1923 2. Classroom Add ( 146P), 1964 3. Playshed Addition ( 146B), 1988 NW 27th Ave NW Raleigh St NW Pettygrove St Aerial photo © 2009 Metro, Portland OR Imagery Date: July 12, 2007 1923 architectural drawing of east and west elevations for the Chapman School. NW 26th Ave View Site in Google Maps Historical Significance and Building Integrity Contrib: High Significance Contrib: Moderate Signif. Non- Contributing 0’ 50’ 100’ 200’ N sandy Blvd Lombard st powell Blvd 82nd ave MLK jr b lvd 1 2 3