Irving Street Lofts Condo Building
Guide to Irving Loft Condos for sale
Who named the Pearl the Pearl? If the Pearl District Business Association is correct, it was gallery owner Thomas Augustine, who suggested that the industrial buildings in the area were like crusty oysters, and the galleries and lofts within them were like pearls. If he’s right, then the Irving St. Lofts were some of the first gems to be discovered.
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History of Irving Street Lofts
The lofts were first constructed as a warehouse in 1924. The area was booming then. Portland’s population had doubled following the Lewis & Clark exposition of 1905, and the Pearl was becoming industrialized.
The warehouse, at Irving & 13th, was commissioned by the Blumauer and Frank Drug Co., who prized the space for its close proximity to the area’s railroads. The company hired architects Sutton and Whitney, who, just the previous year, had built the adjacent warehouse at Irving & 14th, for the Meier and Frank Co.
Sutton and Whitney was a prominent firm. In 1922, journalist C.H. Carey had named them the “leading architects (of) the Pacific northwest.” Some of their landmark designs include the Mt. Hood lodge, St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, and the old Schriner’s Hospital.
At seven-stories tall, their Blumauer and Frank warehouse was the tallest in the district, equaled, ironically, only by their Meier and Frank warehouse next door. The building’s dramatic, reinforced concrete design quickly won kudos.
Blumauer and Frank was a wholesale drug company, and it filled its warehouse with everything a retail druggist would carry: chemicals, medicines, perfumes, toiletries, pipes, etc. The company operated from the building until 1937, when its business was purchased by national pharmaceutical giant McKesson and Robbins.
McKesson and Robbins stayed in the building, in one form or another, until the early ’80s. It thrived in the post-war era, by adapting synthetic and plastic technology for domestic use. In 1967 the company merged with Foremost Dairy, to become Foremost-McKesson, only to spin off the unprofitable dairy division in ’81, and become, simply, McKesson. In ’81 it also consolidated its Portland operation, vacating its Irving St. warehouse.
The building stayed vacant until 1988, when it began its second life as a space for loft apartments. To oversee this conversion, one of the first in the Pearl, the building’s owners hired local architectural firm SERA.
SERA worked wonders, filling the apartments with many of the stunning features the condos now offer, such as the exposed concrete columns, and the 12 foot ceilings. Likewise, they preserved the building’s over sized windows, which bathe the spaces in natural light.
In 1995 the spot was purchased by GranCorp Holdings, which developed it into the Irving St. Lofts. To make this transformation, GranCorp finished each of its 86 lofts with unique touches, such as walnut flooring, rock-floored showers and custom steel appliances and counter tops.
GranCorp converted the building’s top floor into luxury penthouses, and its rooftop into a breath-taking terrace, complete with plantings and barbecues for the residents.
This terrace, which is, by far, the largest of its kind in Portland, could be one of the “pearls” Thomas Augustine was talking about when he coined the term. Like the Irving St. lofts themselves, it’s one of the gems that have emerged in the Pearl District’s long, lovely journey from industrial area to urban home.
Video Tour Gallery
Experience the story of this home and the distinct features it has to offer with our full tour and quick tour videos. A combination of high-quality photos, smooth video and captivating angles recreates the journey of moving through the different spaces of this property.
The open living area, with its unconfined flow, bestows a sense of freedom while the tiered layout invites further exploration.
Kitchen and Dining
Modern appliances and ample cupboards adorn the culinary corner while still providing a connected environment for socializing. Formal dining overlooks the entire loft, accompanied by a swath of the skyline.
Bedroom and Bathrooms
Framed in privacy glass, the bedroom is secluded without being too removed from the living area or the updated bathrooms.
Entry, Study and Views
A short hall blooms into the inviting entryway of the main space as an elevated study beckons from just around the corner. Paneled city views from the loft are only heightened by a trip up to the common deck area where the Pearl District impresses at sunrise, sunset and every moment between.