In the 1940’s, Portland Oregon’s jazz scene was thriving with activity and nightlife, welcoming such greats as Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, and Charlie Parker to its legendary Dude Ranch club on North Williams Avenue. Now recognized as the Jumptown building, the abandoned relic has been given a second chance at revitalizing the history and culture of the neighborhood that was sidelined long ago, ironically, for urban renewal. Developers have hired Malaysian architect Kenneth Yeang, known for his eco-friendly skyscrapers, and local SERA Architects to restore the original building and design a 10-story mixed use building on the adjacent property.
Developers Greg Pearlman and Maria Toth have the lofty goal of making the new Jumptown tower the “greenest building ever built in Portland.” Designed to achieve a US Green Building Council LEED Platinum rating, the building will not merely incorporate storm water reuse, sewage recycling, and solar power, but will bring the concept of rooftop gardens to a whole new level, cascading vegetation down the side of the tower to the street level.
Yeang has written extensively on ecological, large scale building development and has been a pioneer of the “bioclimatic skyscraper.” His sustainable agenda has materialized in buildings worldwide, validating the notion that skyscrapers too, can be environmentally responsible and climatically responsive.