Building Oregon

Faubion School (Portland, Oregon)

Faubion School (Portland, Oregon)
LC Subject
Architecture, American Architecture--United States
James B. Faubion Elementary School (Portland, Oregon)
Jones, William H.
Creator Display
William Henry Jones (architect)
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
Northwest Regional International Style (modern European architecture style)
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
3039 Northeast Portland Boulevard
1950 1952
View Date
Educational Use Permitted
Building Oregon
Primary Set
Building Oregon
University of Oregon
PPS Historic Building Assessment 2009
Oregon Historic Site Form Faubion School 3039 Portland Blvd Portland, Multnomah County block nbr: lot nbr: tax lot nbr: township: range: section: 1/ 4: LOCATION AND PROPERTY NAME elig. evaluation: not eligible/ non- contributing primary orig use: School secondary orig use: primary style: Northwest Regional secondary style: International primary siding: Standard Brick secondary siding: plan type: School ( General) Portland historic name: Faubion School primary constr date: 1950 secondary date: 1952 height (# stories): 1 total # ineligible resources: 1 ( optional-- use for major addns) current/ other names: James B. Faubion 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: 0 apprx. addrs resource type: Building NR status: RLS survey date: 7/ 9/ 2009 external site #: 248 ( ID# used in city/ agency database) survey project name or other grouping name comments/ notes: ILS survey date: 7/ 9/ 2009 Gen File date: SHPO INFO FOR THIS PROPERTY NR date listed: GROUPINGS / ASSOCIATIONS Optional Information 3039 NE Portland Blvd Multnomah County ( former addresses, intersections, etc.) architect: Jones, William Henry builder: NR date listed: ( indiv listed only; see Grouping for hist dist) 106 Project( s) PPS Historic Building Assessment 2009 Survey & Inventory Project Main building south elevation Printed on: 10/ 14/ 2009 Page 1 of 4 Oregon Historic Site Form Faubion School 3039 Portland Blvd Portland, Multnomah County ARCHITECTURAL / PROPERTY DESCRIPTION ( Include expanded description of the building/ property, setting, significant landscape features, outbuildings, and alterations) HISTORY ( Chronological, descriptive history of the property from its construction through at least the historic period [ preferably to the present]) Description Summary The Faubion Elementary School is a one- story brick- veneer building that was influenced by the International and Northwest Regional style. The campus consists of the 1950 single story brick- faced building ( 248A, B) that forms a T- shaped plan and a play shed ( 248C). The single- story brick buildings that make up the T- shaped plan form a variation on a finger plan type school. The building features a linear composition and symmetrical plan. These elements, in addition to bands of aluminum windows, flat roofs, overhangs, and lack of ornamentation, serve to reinforce the ideals of functionalism and minimalism that influenced school design during the post war period. Architectural Description Faubion Elementary School is situated in the Concordia neighborhood of Northeast Portland at 3039 NE Rosa Parks Way. The campus occupies portions of two city blocks between NE Portland Street on the south and NE Dekum Street on the north. The school is located on the west end of the campus. Parking is to the south, the play ground is to the north, and play fields are to the east. The formal entrance to the building is from N. E. Dekum. However, the NE Rosa Parks Way entrances are used often since parking is located along this end of the building. Residential buildings provide a buffer between NE Rosa Parks Way and the school campus. The 1950 Faubion Elementary School features a T- shaped version of the finger plan. The original 1950 rectangular building is sited on an east- west axis. In 1952, a second building was added to the west end of the 1950 building; it is oriented on a north- south axis and forms the top of the T. The main corridors extend east- west through the east wing ( 1950) and north- south through the west wing ( 1952). Large public spaces, such as the multi purpose room and gymnasium, are located along the west wing. Exterior doorways are located at the ends of the long lateral and short entry corridors, which provide access to the expansive school grounds. Rectangular classrooms are located along the double- loaded corridors within the east and west wings. The single story International style influenced building is clad with a mixture of roman brick and tongue and groove siding. The buildings rest on a concrete pier foundation. The horizontal emphasis is achieved through the long single story buildings that comprise the Faubion Elementary School, as well as the bands of metal sash windows with wood trim. The only strong vertical element is the brick smoke stack; however, the two story multi purpose room and gymnasium provide variation in the horizontal massing of the building. The building is capped by flat roofs and low sloped gable roofs at the cafeteria and gymnasium. All of the roofs feature wide eaves, characteristic features of the Northwest style. The north and south elevations of the 1950 wing function as the primary entrances. The south ( front) entrance is located on a projecting brick bay that bears the school’s name and the north ( rear) entrance is located beside a projecting bay that also bears the school’s name. These entrances feature double doors, glass block side lights, and transoms. Secondary entrances, which are located in the east wing classrooms and along corridors, feature painted copper hoods. The principal entrances are sited directly across from one another and open into a short corridor with elevated ceilings. The south entrance is flanked by the boiler room and classrooms. The north entrance is flanked by the classroom and administrative office space. Fixed windows line the east corridor. The west corridor features exposed brick walls at the multi purpose room. The multi purpose room, which is lighted by metal sash windows, features fir wainscot and wood ceiling beams. A stage, which is located at the south end of the multi purpose room, is trimmed in tongue and groove vertical boards. The gymnasium features a maple floor with base and wainscot. The double- loaded corridors feature smooth plaster walls, wood molding ( in the east wing), and rubber base molding. Tubular fluorescent light fixtures are suspended from the acoustic tile clad ceiling. Flooring throughout the building consists of asphalt tile. The building is heated by boilers that are located off the east wing. Metal heating units are located in the hallways and console units are located beneath classroom windows. Wood doors with center lights provide entry to the classrooms. The classrooms are rectangular in plan with wooden cupboards and closets located along one end of the room. Windows line the exterior walls of the classrooms. Beneath the windows there are additional wooden cupboards. Alterations/ Integrity Faubion Elementary School retains a diminished degree of integrity. The original 1950 building, which consisted of a rectangular shaped building, was added on to in 1952. The 1952 addition, constructed with the same materials and using a similar style, altered the plan of the original building and greatly expanded the campus. Since the 1952 addition, the entire T- shaped building has retained its plan and interior and exterior materials. In 1978 a play shed was constructed on the campus. While the play shed is in good condition, it is not associated with the early development of the Faubion School and is therefore a non- contributing ( not significant) resource. Printed on: 10/ 14/ 2009 Page 2 of 4 Oregon Historic Site Form Faubion School 3039 Portland Blvd Portland, Multnomah County 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 Bibliography: Bibliography Ogata, Amy F. “ Building for Learning in Postwar American Elementary Schools.” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Vol. 67, no. 4, December 2008: 562- 591. Perkins, Lawrence B and Walter D. Cocking. Schools. New York: Reinhold Publishing Corporation, 1949. Portland Public Schools. School Chronology Binder. PPS Archives, Portland, Oregon. _______. Faubion Elementary School. Facility Plan. _______. Faubion Elementary School. Facility Profile. Ritz, Richard. E. Architects of Oregon. A Biographical Dictionary of Architects Deceased – 19th and 20th Centuries. Portland: Lair Hill ( Check all of the basic sources consulted and cite specific important sources) Statement of Significance Built in 1950, Faubion School was constructed during a period of modernization and new construction initiated by Portland Public Schools ( PPS) after World War II. In 1945, the citizens of Portland approved a ballot measure that provided $ 5,000,000 over five years to construct, improve, and rehabilitate its public school buildings ( Portland Public Schools 1945: 2). The ballot measure enabled PPS to respond to the explosive growth in school- age children that had occurred in the city as a result of the arrival of defense plant workers and their families, as well as the deferred maintenance arising from the lack of funds during the depression ( Portland Public Schools 1945: 2- 3). Beginning with the 1945 bond measure, PPS embarked on an effort to improve its school facilities through renovations, additions, and the new construction of over fifty schools between 1945 and 1970. The Faubion campus, referred to at the time of purchase as Dekum Avenue Primary, was purchased in 1945 for a cost of $ 53,300 ( PPS Chronology Binder). For the new building program, PPS schools adopted the call of architects and school planners across the country for new types of schools. Nationally known architects including Richard Neutra, the Walter Gropius led Architects Collective, and Perkins Will promoted new school types that reflected both evolving educational practices and design philosophies ( Ogata 2008: 567- 568; Perkins and Cocking 1949: 238- 246). Emphasizing the need for economy and rapid construction, the designers adopted new materials that were standardized and mass produced including steel, plywood, and aluminum. In many buildings, architects achieved flexibility through the building’s structure by employing non load- bearing partition walls and zoned ventilation and heating systems. Folding walls and moveable cabinets provided additional flexibility intended to enable teachers to rearrange rooms based on lesson plan and activities ( Ogata 2008: 568). The architect of 1950 Faubion School was William Henry Jones who also designed identical buildings at Ball ( demolished), Sitton, Chief Joseph, and Astor ( PPS Architectural Drawing Archive). Unfortunately, not much is known about his background. The architecture firm of Wick and Hilgers designed the 1952 addition. For both buildings the designers adopted the building program and principles that dominated the discourse for school design during the second half of the twentieth century. Wick and Hilgers AIA was founded by Clarence Wick and Albert Hilgers, two graduates of the University of Oregon’s School of Architecture. The firm was responsible for the design of many public facilities in the Northwest. The firm’s first large commission was as the architects of record for the Portland Chamber of Commerce Visitors Information Center, designed by John Yeon ( 1945). The firm was responsible for the design of the School of Music ( 1949) and Commonwealth Hall ( 1951) at the University of Oregon as well as the Wolverton Memorial Pool at the Oregon College of Education ( 1955). In addition to designing Applegate Elementary School, the firm designed additions for Astor, Chief Joseph, and Faubion ( Ritz 2002 424- 425, 178- 179). Faubion Elementary School is a modified version of the finger plan type school that became popular in the post- war period. Similar to other schools of this type, Faubion features a single story horizontal building with a projecting wing that provides ample access to the expansive campus. The construction, wood frame with brick veneer, and wood siding allowed for economic building and ease of expansion. Mass produced materials including aluminum windows and glass block, readily available after the conversion of the defense industries to manufacturing facilities, provide economical decoration. While Faubion Elementary School is associated with PPS post war development, the building is not recommended as eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places ( NRHP). The original 1950 building was added on to in 1952, which altered its plan and orientation. In comparison with other schools of the period there are better examples of the use of the finger plan type to facilitate rapid construction and expansion. Faubion Elementary School is not eligible under either NRHP Criteria A, B, or C as it does not exhibit the level of integrity or significance of many of the other Portland Elementary Schools of the period. Printed on: 10/ 14/ 2009 Page 3 of 4 Oregon Historic Site Form Faubion School 3039 Portland Blvd Portland, Multnomah County Publishing, 2003. Printed on: 10/ 14/ 2009 Page 4 of 4 South ( rear) elevation South ( rear) and west ( side) elevations of the west wing East ( side) elevation of the west wing North ( front) elevation West ( side) elevation Faubion School Exterior Photos ENTRIX, 2009 Rear entrance Central hallway Classroom Multipurpose room Gymnasium corridor Faubion School Interior Photos ENTRIX, 2009 1950 Sanborn Fire Insurance Company Map, Portland, Oregon, Map 431. Arrow points to James B. Faubion Primary School. Faubion School 3039 NE Portland Blvd, Portland OR, 97211 Building Periods 1. Main Building ( 248A), 1950 2. Addition ( 248A), 1952 3. Building Addition ( 248B), 1952 4. Playshed Addition ( 248C), 1978 Aerial photo © 2009 Metro, Portland OR Imagery Date: July 12, 2007 NE Portland Blvd ( Rosa Parks Way) NE Dekum St 1950 elevation drawings for the Faubion School. 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 4