Portland

A Renovation Saves Michael Graves’ Portland Building

Surfaces of all kinds are top of mind these days, so we decided to look at all aspects of them, in these articles, from A to Z. Thinking of surfaces less as a product category and more as a framework, we use them as a lens for understanding the designed environment. Surfaces are sites of materials innovation, outlets for technology and science, and embodiments of standards around health and sustainability, as well as a medium for artists and researchers to explore political questions.


Dlr Tpb Ewing 2890

Michael Graves’s Portland Building, a Postmodern landmark, has been plagued with structural and operational problems for years. DLR Group and contractor Howard S. Wright have recently completed a renovation and restoration that sought to correct these issues and improve the conditions for the employees who work within its walls. Priorities in the revamp included new exterior cladding, an overhaul of MEP systems, seismic upgrades, and new interior construction. Courtesy James Ewing/JBSA

From the moment architect Michael Graves won a 1979 design competition for what became known as the Portland Building, one of America’s first major works of Postmodern architecture, the city office’s boldly colorful facade and oversize historical references divided opinion. Some applauded its exuberant rejection of Modernist dogma, while others seethed at its cartoonish, skin-deep style.

Since its 1982 opening, Graves’s design, topped with Raymond Kaskey’s massive copper Portlandia statue, has become an icon. Yet one constituency always seemed unanimous in its discontent: the occupants. Administrative staff worked in a near-total absence of natural light, and maintenance crews were tasked with continually patching the leaky facade.

For a few months in 2014, local city councillors openly considered demolishing the building. Today, however, thanks to a $195 million renovation by DLR Group and contractor Howard S. Wright, this Postmodern landmark is not only free of leaks and

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Portland fines contractors for allegedly creating ‘front company’ to certify as woman-owned business

The City of Portland said Wednesday it will fine the owners of a painting contractor $20,000 for allegedly creating a “front company” to qualify as a woman-owned business. The city is accusing the business, Portland Coatings, of receiving more than $1 million in contracts while falsely claiming to be owned by a woman.



a house with trees in the background: Portland City Hall's windows remain boarded up on September 4 amid ongoing demonstrations in the city calling for police and racial justice reforms.


© Brooke Herbert/Brooke Herbert/The Oregonian/oregonlive.com/TNS
Portland City Hall’s windows remain boarded up on September 4 amid ongoing demonstrations in the city calling for police and racial justice reforms.

Portland had been investigating Terezia Nyland and her husband, Michael, since 2017, after an unspecified tip to the city’s ombudsman office. The city said Portland Coatings’ address is actually the loading dock for a business Michael Nyland owns, Williamsen & Bleid.

In addition to the $20,000 fine, the city suspended the Nylands’ eligibility to do business for the city for three years. The Nylands’ lawyer said Tuesday they plan to challenge the city’s findings.

“Terezia Nyland is, and has always been, Portland Coatings’ majority shareholder and chief executive,” attorney Matthew Colley wrote in an email. “She and her husband have done nothing wrong, and they will be vindicated in the appeals process. Portland Coatings’ certification with the State of Oregon is current and has been renewed every year since 2011, when certification was first granted.”

This is the first time Portland enforced a 2015 state law that gives the city the authority to investigate whether businesses qualify for public contracts that give preference to “disadvantaged businesses.” That category includes businesses owned by Blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, women and others who have historically had less access to lucrative government contracts.

Former Oregonian reporter Tony Green investigated the case for the city ombudsman’s office, which is a division of the city auditor. Green left the paper in 2008.

Former Oregonian/OregonLive

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Portland: Contractor created false woman-owned business

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The City of Portland said Wednesday it will fine the owners of a painting contractor $20,000, saying they created a “front company” in order to qualify as a woman-owned business.

The city is accusing the business, Portland Coatings, of receiving over $1 million in contracts while falsely claiming to be owned by a woman.

Portland began investigating Terezia Nyland and her husband, Michael, in 2017 after an unspecified tip to the city’s ombudsman office, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.


The city said Portland Coatings’ address is actually the loading dock for a business Michael Nyland owns, Williamsen & Bleid. In addition to the $20,000 fine, the city suspended the Nylands’ eligibility to do business for the city for three years.



The Nylands’ lawyer said Tuesday they plan to challenge the city’s findings.

“Terezia Nyland is, and has always been, Portland Coatings’ majority shareholder and chief executive,” attorney Matthew Colley wrote in an email. “She and her husband have done nothing wrong, and they will be vindicated in the appeals process.”


This is the first time Portland enforced a 2015 state law that gives the city the authority to investigate whether businesses qualify for public contracts that give preference to “disadvantaged businesses.” That category includes businesses owned by people who are Blacks, Hispanic, Native American, women and others who have historically had less access to lucrative government contracts.


Last month, a city audit that found Portland’s efforts to reduce disparities in city construction contracting had some effect, “but they also suffered from design flaws and mismanagement, and were vulnerable to gamesmanship.”

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