Ancient Order of United Workmen Temple

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Ancient Order of
United Workmen Temple
Ancient Order of United Workmen Temple building - Portland, Oregon (2016).jpg
The building in 2016
Ancient Order of United Workmen Temple is located in Portland, Oregon
Ancient Order of United Workmen Temple
Location within Portland, Oregon
Alternative namesTourny Building (or Tourney Building)
General information
Architectural styleRichardsonian Romanesque
Town or cityPortland, Oregon
CountryUnited States
Coordinates45°31′00″N 122°40′32″W / 45.516558°N 122.675647°W / 45.516558; -122.675647Coordinates: 45°31′00″N 122°40′32″W / 45.516558°N 122.675647°W / 45.516558; -122.675647
Design and construction
ArchitectJustus F. Krumbein

The Ancient Order of United Workmen Temple, also known as the Tourny Building, was a historic building located at the intersection of Southwest 2nd Avenue and Taylor Street in Portland, Oregon, in the United States. The six-story building was completed in 1892[1] and it was demolished in 2017 to be replaced by new development. Demolition was underway in August 2017, and it was complete by November of the same year.

Description and history[edit]

The building was designed by Justus F. Krumbein, also the architect of the second Oregon State Capitol. Its style had elements of Richardsonian Romanesque architecture and, according to Restore Oregon, it was one of the city's most prominent buildings from the 1890s that was still extant in the 2010s.[2]

Originally serving as a club and office for the Ancient Order of United Workmen (AOUW) fraternal organization, within about 10 years it had been sold by that organization and renamed the Tourny Building, a mixed-use building that initially included apartments. The AOUW retained a library in the building for its members for some years after its sale. The building was sold again in 1905, for $100,000,[3] and again in 1907 for $140,000 (equivalent to $3.8 million in 2018[4]).[5] The offices of the Oregon Historical Society were in the Tourny Building from 1913[6] until 1917,[7] and its museum was on the first floor.[8]

In 1941, the six-story building was sold to Gilbert Brothers, Inc.,[9] who opened a furniture store and warehouse in it. In 1946, a fire gutted the top three floors and destroyed the roof[10] and cornice. Fires has previously broken out in 1916 and 1922,[11] and yet another occurred in 1974, gutting the top two floors.[12]

Portland architect Richard Sundeleaf made modifications in 1942 and 1946, and Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects in 1980.[13]

At an unknown date, the building was designated a historical landmark by the city's Historical Landmarks Commission (now known as the Historic Landmarks Commission), but the commission removed the designation in 1973, after concluding that subsequent repainting had lessened the building's historical significance.[14]

Delisting and demolition[edit]

During demolition (September 2017)

In November 2015, it was reported that the City of Portland had removed the building from the city's Historic Resource Inventory, having deemed it unsafe. This opened the possibility of demolition.[15] The Portland Tribune reported in December 2015 that, "Plans provided by Ankrom Moisan Architects show a 20-story hotel and 10-story office building rising on the block", in place of the 1892 building and the nearby Hotel Albion (Lotus Café building).[1]

The completed design for the hotel building proposed to be constructed on the block was approved by the Portland Design Commission, a city-appointed advisory panel, in early July 2016.[16] The plans called for demolition of the United Workmen Temple, and the development team submitted an application for a demolition permit to the city in mid-July 2016.[16] A campaign by the preservation organization Restore Oregon to save the AOUW building and the Hotel Albion was unsuccessful,[11] and the demolition permit was approved in the first months of 2017.[17]

In August 2017, visible demolition of the building began,[11] following a few months of preparatory work inside the structure to remove hazardous material before demolition.[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Bancud, Michaela (December 1, 2015). "Lotus Card Room building may fold for good". Portland Tribune. Business Tribune section, pp. 3-5. Retrieved May 22, 2016.
  2. ^ Spencer-Hartle, Brandon (November 6, 2015). "Historic No More?! Demo Epidemic Strikes Notable Downtown Buildings". Restore Oregon. Retrieved November 10, 2015.
  3. ^ "Sales of the Week". The Sunday Oregonian. October 22, 1905. p. 8.
  4. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  5. ^ "[General city news; no headline]". The Sunday Oregonian. March 10, 1907. p. 6, col. 5.
  6. ^ "City News in Brief: Historical Society to Move". The Morning Oregonian. March 7, 1913. p. 11, col. 2.
  7. ^ "City News in Brief: Historical Society in New Home". The Morning Oregonian. October 1, 1917. p. 9, col. 1.
  8. ^ "Fire Threatens Museum". The Morning Oregonian. June 10, 1916. p. 9.
  9. ^ "Gilberts Acquire Tourny Building". The Sunday Oregonian. October 5, 1941. Section 2, p. 1.
  10. ^ "Fire Guts Furniture Building". The Oregonian. August 30, 1946. p. A1. [The fire] burn[ed] off the entire roof of the 75x100-foot building.
  11. ^ a b c Perry, Douglas (August 24, 2017). "Downtown Portland's 1892 United Workmen Temple being demolished; 'poster child' for lost history". The Oregonian. Retrieved August 31, 2017.
  12. ^ "3-alarm fire guts Portland building". The Oregonian. December 17, 1974. p. 1.
  13. ^ Historic Resource Inventory datasheet, City of Portland, Oregon, 1984.
  14. ^ "Building off historic list". The Oregonian. December 13, 1973. p. 42.
  15. ^ Bell, Jon (November 18, 2015). "Historic downtown building, once planned to be saved, could meet the wrecking ball after all". Portland Business Journal. Retrieved December 17, 2015.
  16. ^ a b Rogers, Jules (July 26, 2016) [online date July 25]. "Downtown duo: Hotel design approved; new office coming soon". Portland Tribune. Business Tribune section, pp. 8–9. Retrieved February 13, 2017.
  17. ^ a b Bell, Jon (August 28, 2017). "Historic temple building meets its maker in downtown". Portland Business Journal. Retrieved August 31, 2017.

External links[edit]