Project Description: Located at the northern end of downtown Portland, the Pearl District is a revitalized urban warehouse neighborhood. One of the most successful urban revitalization projects in the country, the area is a thriving neighborhood of galleries, artist studios, restaurants and shopping. This area emerged as a factory district serving industries spawned by Portland's development as a seaport and rail center. Like many factory districts around the country, it endured some abandonment after the 1950s, and its buildings were increasingly dedicated to other uses, such as offices, shops and artists' studios. In more recent years, the district has seen the development of higher-end condominiums and apartments, as well as an increase in the amount of retailers in the area. The district is also home to the greatest concentration of art galleries in the city. Project History: In 1996, the Portland city council adopted River District Design Guidelines that encompassed the Pearl District. Emerging as a component of the Central City Plan, adopted in 1988, the guidelines facilitate the plan to develop the River District into a unique community of dense neighborhoods, housing 15,000 people and providing services, jobs, and recreation to residents and visitors alike. One of the River District Design Guideline's main goals is to 'enhance the District's character and livability by fostering attractive design and activities that give comfort, convenience, safety and pleasure to all of its residents and visitors'. Other goals for the guidelines include reinforcing the identity of the district by encouraging design features in both new and rehabilitated buildings that reflect upon the district's existing urban warehouse character. It is also hoped that many extant buildings will be re-used, rehabilitated and restored. To quote from the guidelines, 'Conservation and preservation have been significant forces in the revitalization of Portland's downtown. Various financial incentives at the local, state and federal levels have been responsible for making redevelopment of older buildings a viable economic option. Even though an existing building may not be a designated landmark or within a historic district, it may still be a good candidate for upgrading and re-use. Where economic factors do not support total rehabilitation or restoration, important building elements of existing structures, and in some cases entire building facades, can be salvaged and incorporated into the design of new structures. This approach can be valuable in preserving character-giving features and for historical context.'