Elmer Feig

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Elmer Feig
Born (1897-05-09)May 9, 1897
Atwater, Minnesota
Died October 20, 1968(1968-10-20) (aged 71)
Newberg, Oregon
Alma mater University of Oregon
Practice Architectural Services Bureau, Portland, Oregon
Buildings Blackstone Apartments, Keller House
Projects Northwest District, Portland, Oregon
Design Egyptian Revival, Art Deco, Spanish Colonial

Elmer Feig (May 9, 1897 - October 20, 1968) was an American unlicensed architect credited with designing over 81 apartment buildings between 1925 and 1931 in Portland, Oregon.[1] Feig also designed single-family residences. Many of Feig's designs survived urban renewal and have become a central feature of Portland neighborhoods. Some of Feig's buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Early years[edit]

Elmer Edward Feig was born May 9, 1897, in Atwater, Minnesota. Within a few years, the family moved to Barnes County, North Dakota, where Elmer's father worked as a hardware store clerk. The family settled in Portland in 1910.[2]

Feig's first job was as a draftsperson with the Portland firm of Fenner Redicut Homes in 1914. He began working as a structural and mechanical architect in Vancouver, Washington, for G. M. Standifer Construction Company in 1916 where he remained for three years. From 1919 to 1927, Feig worked as an inspector and plans examiner at the Portland City Bureau of Buildings, a forerunner of the Planning and Sustainability Commission.[3] Feig designed the Keller House while working for the Bureau of Buildings.

Elmer Feig's first wife was Gladys Kunich, and they had two children. The Feig's divorced in the 1930s. Feig married his second wife, Dora, later in the 1930s.[3]

Architecture[edit]

In 1928, Feig started the Architectural Services Bureau and began working as a full-time architect, although he referred to himself as a building designer. One of his first commercial clients was Harry Mittleman, who constructed several apartment buildings from designs provided by Feig, including Blackstone Apartments. Blackstone is an Egyptian Revival structure cited as a key example of Feig's work. A typical Feig design included a raised basement, three to five stories, a flat roof, and parapets raised higher at the middle and the corners.[4] Feig experimented with various revival styles where exotic motifs were applied to ordinary apartment structures, often including relief panels and cast stone decorations. The building form was also important to Feig, and he experimented with courtyards and gardens attached to U-shapes and L-shaped forms.[5]

From the late-1920s to the early-1930s, Feig designed over 81 apartment buildings and at least seven houses.[2][3] Normally working alone, Feig collaborated with Harry Herzog of the firm Bennes & Herzog on at least one design but at separate times.[4]

Later years[edit]

Little else is known of Elmer Feig. His work in Florida has not been documented, and his legacy will remain in the Portland neighborhoods where his buildings are cherished.

He returned to Oregon in 1965 and retired in Newberg. Elmer Feig died October 20, 1968.[6]

List of buildings[edit]

Many of Elmer Feig's designs have been demolished, but the following list from the Oregon Historic Sites Database and other sources includes at least most of those left standing.

Photograph Year Name Address
Morland Apartments (Elmer Feig).jpg 1931 Morland Apartments 1530 NE 10th Ave
Portland, Oregon
Marquam Manor (Elmer Feig).jpg 1930 Marquam Manor 3211 SW 10th Ave
Portland, Oregon
Olympic Apartments (Elmer Feig).jpg 1928 Olympic Apartments 707 NW 19th Ave
Portland, Oregon
Worthington Apartments (Elmer Feig).jpg 1929 Worthington Apartments 708 NW 19th Ave
Portland, Oregon
Zenabe Court Apartments (Elmer Feig).jpg 1929 Zenabe Court Apartments 708 NW 20th Ave
Portland, Oregon
Estelle Court Apartments (Elmer Feig).jpg 1928 Estelle Court Apartments 730 NW 20th Ave
Portland, Oregon
El Capitan Apartments (Elmer Feig).jpg 1930 El Capitan Apartments 1620 NE 24th Ave
Portland, Oregon
Mt. Tabor Park Apartments (Elmer Feig).jpg 1932 Mt Tabor Park Apartments 911 SE 60th Ave
Portland, Oregon
Maravilla Apartments (Elmer Feig).jpg 1930 Maravilla Apartments 2310 NE 8th Ave
Portland, Oregon
Blackstone (Elmer Feig).jpg 1930 Blackstone Apartments 1831 SW 9th Ave
Portland, Oregon
Edward Keller House (Elmer Feig).jpg 1924 Edward Keller House 3028 NE Alameda St
Portland, Oregon
Volunteers of America Bldg (Elmer Feig).jpg 1927 Volunteers Of America Building 538 SE Ash St
Portland, Oregon
Laurelhurst Christian Church (Elmer Feig).jpg 1929 Laurelhurst Christian Church 1244 NE Cesar E Chavez Blvd
Portland, Oregon
Manhattan Apartments (Elmer Feig).jpg 1931 Manhattan Apartments 2209 NW Everett St
Portland, Oregon
Premier Apartments (Elmer Feig).jpg 1930 Premier Apartments 1983 NW Flanders St
Portland, Oregon
Eugene Apartments (Elmer Feig).jpg 1930 Eugene Apartments 2030 NW Flanders St
Portland, Oregon
The Rasmussen on Flanders (Elmer Feig).jpg 1929 The Rasmussen on Flanders 2509 NE Flanders St
Portland, Oregon
McKinney Apartments (Elmer Feig).jpg 1928 McKinney Apartments 2125 NW Glisan St
Portland, Oregon
Tallynor Apartments (Elmer Feig).jpg 1928 Tallynor Apartments 2267 NW Glisan St
Portland, Oregon
The Rasmussen on Glisan (Elmer Feig).jpg 1929 The Rasmussen on Glisan 2512 NE Glisan St
Portland, Oregon
Santa Barbara Apartments (Elmer Feig).jpg 1928 Santa Barbara Apartments 2052 SE Hawthorne Blvd
Portland, Oregon
Associated Oil Building (Elmer Feig).jpg 1929 Associated Oil Building 1801-1817 NW Irving St
Portland, Oregon
Loomis and Day House (Elmer Feig).jpg 1929 Loomis and Day House 1929 NW Irving St
Portland, Oregon
Walters Apartments (Elmer Feig).jpg 1929 Walters Apartments 1943 NW Irving St
Portland, Oregon
Barcelona Apartments (Elmer Feig).jpg 1928 Barcelona Apartments 1953 NW Irving St
Portland, Oregon
Edlefsen House (Elmer Feig).jpg 1928 Edlefsen House 1963 NW Irving St
Portland, Oregon
Nordel Apartments (Elmer Feig).jpg 1927 Nordel Apartments 2166 NW Irving St
Portland, Oregon
Teshnor Manor (Elmer Feig).jpg 1929 Teshnor Manor 1944 NW Johnson St
Portland, Oregon
Kurdy Apartments (Elmer Feig).jpg 1927 Kurdy Apartments 2355 NW Johnson St
Portland, Oregon
Harry Mittleman House (Elmer Feig).jpg 1928 Harry Mittleman House 1631 NE Klickitat St
Portland, Oregon
Arenson Court Apartments (Elmer Feig).jpg 1930 Arenson Court Apartments 2533 NW Marshall St
Portland, Oregon
Ben Phillips House (Elmer Feig).jpg 1925 Ben Phillips House 1422 SE Palm St
Portland, Oregon
Queen Anne Apartments (Elmer Feig).jpg 1928 Queen Anne Apartments 2503 NW Raleigh St
Portland, Oregon
Lindquist Apartments (Elmer Feig).jpg 1930 Lindquist Apartments 711 NE Randall St
Portland, Oregon
Rockaway Apartments (Elmer Feig).jpg 1929 Rockaway Apartments 1410-1418 NE Schuyler St
Portland, Oregon
Broadmoor Clubhouse (Elmer Feig).jpg 1931 Broadmoor Golf Course Clubhouse 3509 NE Columbia Blvd
Portland, Oregon
Norse Hall (Elmer Feig).jpg 1928 Grieg Lodge/Norse Hall 111 N.E. 11th Ave
Portland, Oregon

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ritz, Richard Ellison (March 2003). Architects of Oregon. Portland, Oregon: Lair Hill Publishing. p. 128. ISBN 0-9726200-2-8. 
  2. ^ a b "NRHP Nomination Form: Keller, Edward H. and Bertha R., House" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved December 5, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c Referenced in Ritz: Bailey, ed., J.A. (1936-37). Capitol's Whos Who for Oregon. Portland, Oregon: Capitol Publishing Co. p. 190.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  4. ^ a b Referenced in Ritz: Spencer, Arthur (February 1987). "The legacy of Elmer Feig". Northwest Examiner (Portland, Oregon: Columbia Gorge Printing and Publishing Co.). p. 18. 
  5. ^ "Historic Alphabet District: Community Design Guidelines Addendum". Portland Bureau of Planning. Retrieved January 12, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Oregon Historic Sites Database: Premier Apartments" (PDF). Oregon State Parks. Retrieved January 12, 2014. 

External links[edit]