Over a year after an unsuccessful attempt to win approval for a retail store in northwest Portland (Ore)., Apple has submitted revised architectural designs for a store at the same 437 N.W. 23rd Street address. This time Apple has substituted ebony-faced brick for gray stone and has added a canopy to the design of the 5,000 square-foot, 1.5-story building on the corner of 23rd and Glisan Street, all intended to better blend in with the neighborhood. Apple proposes to demolish the current, historically insignificant building, but must win special city approvals for the new building because it’s located within the Alphabet Historic District.
If approved as Apple proposes, the architecture would be among the most distinctive that Apple has applied to any of its stores. It would perhaps also represent the biggest architectural compromise for Apple, which has abandoned other store proposals because of conflicts with city regulatory agencies. [front view / side view]
Apple’s original architectural plans submitted in late 2005 were met with criticism by Portland’s Design Commission. The plans included stone siding, similar to the Burlingame (N. Calif.) and North Michigan Avenue (Chicago) store. In July 2006, after several meetings with city officials that didn’t generate a middle ground, Apple withdrew its store proposal from further city consideration, and there has been no action since.
In a September 14, 2007 report to the city’s Historical Landmarks Commission (HLC), staffers from the city’s Bureau of Development Services said Apple’s revised design proposal does not meet community planning guidelines, and recommended the HLC not approve the plan. The staff report did recommend several changes that might bring approval, including the size of sign lettering over the awning, the set-back at the rear of the building, and the front and side wall materials.
The report notes that in response to formal notices of the plan, “No written responses have been received from either the Neighborhood Association or notified property owners.”
The city’s Historical Landmarks Commission has scheduled a hearing on the new design for September 24th, with architect Jay Winfrey from Holst Architecture representing Apple.
Download the staff report (pdf) for more details.
new design is radically different than this rendering of store design as proposed in 2006E-mail this story