The Rommel Architectural Partnership


1939 with a full renovation in 2005


Commercial Contractors Inc.

Activating a Neighborhood Center

A vacant commercial building in urban SE Portland provided the opportunity to bring goods and services to the Buckman neighborhood. The neighborhood strongly advocated for making this a spot dedicated exclusively to supporting local businesses, and we listened. Morrison Place has been a fixture in the neighborhood for over a decade and is home to award winning restaurant Nostrana as well as the country’s first LEED certified dentist office.

From carefully selecting the locally-owned businesses who occupy the eight storefronts to guiding the building design, we made the extra effort to thoughtfully renovate and transform this site. We restored original interior details, exposing high ceilings with beautiful wood bow trusses dating back to mid-century. We also worked with our architectural partners to incorporate high quality materials on the facade and create a connected pedestrian experience while retaining existing parking. Extensive, drought-tolerant landscaping and weathered corten steel structural elements create unique outdoor plazas and pathways that fluidly connect to sidewalks. The street presence was further improved by creating a one-of-a-kind bus stop along a heavily used public transit line.

Sticking to our original promise to the neighborhood resulted in a project that perfectly suited the needs of the location and demographic. The enduring popularity of the site attests to the importance of listening to the neighborhood and demonstrates that a long term commitment to local businesses has value for all involved.