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News Release
National Park Service Lists Five Portland Properties in the National Register of Historic Places - 04/03/20

PORTLAND, Ore. – Five Portland properties are among Oregon’s latest entries in the National Register of Historic Places, including the railroad that runs through the Portland Zoo, a former school, residential homes, and an apartment complex. Oregon’s State Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation (SACHP) recommended these property nominations at their June 2019 meeting. The National Park Service — which maintains the National Register of Historic Places — accepted these nominations in March 2020.

The nominations are as follows: Portland Zoo Railway Historic District, Multnomah School, Elmer and Linnie Miller House, John A. and Hattie Mae Keating Residence, and Wheeldon Annex.

Portland Zoo Railway Historic District – Engineered, designed and built by professional railroad engineers and train designers in 1958, the Portland Zoo Railway, which transported people between the Oregon Zoo and Washington Park, is a significant example of railroad and train engineering on a small scale. Notable features include the 30” gauge track, six original train cars, the Washington Park Station, and the railway roundhouse for servicing and storing the locomotives. Parts of the railroad were developed to provide recreational rides through the zoo at Oregon’s centennial celebration. 

Multnomah School – Constructed in 1923 in Multnomah Village, the Spanish Colonial Revival school served as the community’s only school until its closure in 1979, representing the community’s commitment to public education. In 1982, the Portland Parks Bureau took over the school and with community support and involvement adapted it into the Multnomah Arts Center and Senior Center, thereby continuing and expanding its critical role as a community resource.

Elmer and Linnie Miller House – Located in the Eliot neighborhood, this Queen Anne style house was constructed in 1896. It showcases the asymmetry and decorative millwork that characterized the architecture of the era.

John A. and Hattie Mae Keating Residence – The Keating Residence is a Shingle Style and Arts & Crafts residence in Portland’s West Hills designed by architect Ellis F. Lawrence in 1913. Lawrence was the founder and first dean of the University of Oregon School of Architecture and Allied Arts. The home reflects a change in architecture trends to more open floor plans. It also stands out for its innovative centralized vacuum system.

Wheeldon Annex – This downtown apartment complex was built in 1911 and is one of the earliest surviving examples of the “U shape” apartment building that became ubiquitous in Portland and cities nationwide. Built by architects MacNaughton and Raymond in the Italian Renaissance Revival style, the five-story brick structure is associated with a period of explosive growth in Portland during the first half of the 20th century. The Wheeldon Annex was considered highly modern and respectable, notable for its built-in, fold-away furniture, single bathrooms for every apartment, dumbwaiters and tenant services. 

The National Register is maintained by the National Park Service under the authority of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. More information about the National Register is online at oregonheritage.org (listed under “Designate”).

Properties listed in the National Register are:

  • Recognized as significant to the nation, state, or community;
  • Considered in the planning of federal or federally assisted projects;
  • Eligible for federal and state tax benefits;
  • Qualify for historic preservation grants when funds are available;
  • Eligible for leniency in meeting certain building code requirements;
  • Subject to local laws pertaining to the conservation and protection of historic resources.

National Register listing does not place any restrictions on a property at the state or federal level, unless property owners choose to participate in tax benefit or grant programs.

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