Before They Were Condos - Chown Pella
The Chown Pella Building is charmingly uneven; part four-story and part six-story; the lopsided coexistence was one that was born out of practicality and rapid success. The first portion was built in 1910 by The Oregon Transfer Company; formerly Portland Hack & Dray. OTC serviced the warehouse and shipping businesses that comprised the Pearl at that time. A four-story addition soon followed in 1911 to meet rising demand. For almost 70 years OTC operated out of this space, storing and moving a variety of products and materials for an expanding Portland. In 1979 OTC outgrew the space and moved on. The next tenant provided the name by which the building is known. Elenor and Frank Chown moved the Door and Window Division of their already established hardware store into the building and operated out of the space for the next two decades. In 1996 Developer John Carroll with Ankrom Moisan Architects converted the Chown into condominiums, becoming just the second building in The Pearl District to undergo this transformation. The massive old-growth fir and brick provide the bones for this iconic structure; these same elements which gave this building its sense of permanence are now featured prominently in all 68 units inside giving the Chown Pella a visible and sturdy link to its past.