Portland, OR. With ongoing COVID-related restrictions still in place, you may be looking for some fun and fulfilling ways to pass the time. Portland’s Architectural Heritage Center (established back in 1987) has a “Virtual Museum” online series exploring the history of South Portland. Images like the one above are part of the collection. For those who’ve grown up in and around Portland, or even those new to the city, the black-and-white historical photographs and accompanying information offer an intriguing gaze back into a not-so-distant past.

The Architectural Heritage Center located at 701 SE Grand.

Part of this new online platform includes a partnership with Brian Libby’s XRAY.FM podcast. With an episode focusing on the specific Portland block of 10th Avenue and Alder Street and its 125-year history, the podcast explores the ever-changing culture here in Portland through historical records, photographs, and more. It’s free to listen to and has a whole lot of content available, including episodes on the Portland Art Museum, the Lincoln Hall, and the Portland Building.

Pictured is a c.1910 postcard of the Hazelwood Creamery, located in the Selling-Hirsch building, one of the places discussed in the podcast.

AHC’s biggest event is its annual Gala. This event, typically attracting over 250 members, aims to connect the community while showcasing the AHC’s work within Portland. While COVID restrictions will not allow this event to take place in-person this year, the Gala will still continue on to a virtual format. This will take place on February 25, 2021, and will be free and open to all who desire to attend.

Grocery and Deli in South Portland, 1958. Photo courtesy Portland Archives and Records Center.

The Architectural Heritage Center has always been a nonprofit and thrives off of volunteer work. It is currently looking for volunteers who are passionate about the mission and goals. If you don’t have the skill requirements or availability for one of these positions, they are always happy for any donations received from patrons and this can be done in a number of ways.

About Portland’s Architectural Heritage Center from their website:

The Architectural Heritage Center is a significant historic preservation education facility for the Portland region and plays an important role in celebrating and advocating for the architectural heritage of our city and region. The Center includes two exhibition galleries, two classrooms, workshop space, a library, collections storage spaces, and the Foundation’s offices.

Public historic preservation programming, begun in 1992, continues at the AHC, as well as at historic sites and neighborhoods throughout the Portland metro area. We have served the needs of more than 65,000 people. Continued progress is being made on the professional inventory and documentation of the collections.