The Northwest Regional style building, 421 SE 10th Ave., was originally constructed in 1962 to house a Postal Employees Credit Union, and, until recently was an office for the Multnomah County Department of Community Corrections. In February, after being carefully remodeled, Living Room Realty moved in.

A casual, outside observer would note a freshly painted exterior, updated landscaping, new wooden fencing, and that razor-wire no longer tops the sections of chain link fence.

While aesthetically pleasing, the exterior changes are only a minor part of the remodeling that took place inside the structure designed by architects John W. Reese and Frank E. Blachly.

“I’ve had a lifelong love of architecture with roots firmly planted in Portland,” said Jenelle Isaacson, owner of Living Room Realty. She is committed to preserving Portland’s historic architecture and looking forward to re-opening their doors to the public when the current health crisis has abated.

The company intends to host a variety of community events, including art shows and educational workshops to bring neighbors and colleagues together in the future.

Living Room broker and designer Shannon Baird, of S. Baird Design, oversaw the renovation.

She’s an honoree of the State of Oregon Preservation Office for her work in Historic Preservation, and, along with fellow designer Anna Carmel, worked tirelessly to ensure the updated design maintained the original integrity of the building.

“The building’s original intent was to be of service and inspire its credit union members and those of the community. We wanted our design to be emblematic of that purpose and to pay homage to the era in which it was built,” said Baird.

“By reviewing the historic plans to inform our newer aspects of the remodel, as well as understanding the inner workings of Living Room Realty, we aimed to strike a harmonious balance of old and new within the building. We’re pleased it has been approved for listing on the National Register.”

Sites and structures listed in the National Register have been deemed worthy of preservation by the National Park Service and are part of a program to support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate and protect America’s historic and archeological resources.

Photo by 22 Pages Photography