Simon Benson House

Simon Benson House

Built for lumberman and philanthropist Simon Benson around the turn of the century, this once proud Victorian had sat vacant for decades until it was finally condemned by the Bureau of Buildings in 1991.  The Benson House was slated for demolition to make room for a condominium tower when City Commissioner Gretchen Kafoury secured a $650,000 grant from the Portland Development Commission to relocate and save this landmark structure.

PDC contracted with Heritage Consulting Group to serve as project manager and historic rehabilitation consultants.

Through Heritage Consulting, Bob Naitoworked with PDC, PSU and the Friends of Simon Benson House to acquire and move the house to its new location on the PSU campus in January 2000.

Bob Naito’s work included incorporating and recruiting board members to the Friends of Simon Benson House; negotiating the purchase of the house; recruiting the architects who did the work pro bono; assisting with the selection of the contractor; and soliciting major donations including a $100,000 in-kind contribution from Home Depot.

Following an extensive rehabilitation of the structure including restoration of many of its historic features, the Simon Benson House reopened as the home of the PSU Alumni office and visitor’s center.

Project Description

 

Location:                     Portland, Oregon

 

Owner:                          Portland State University

 

Project Manager:     Bob Naito and John Tess

(Heritage Consulting Group)

 

Completion:              December 2000

 

Project cost:              $2 million

 

Program:                         Acquire, move to the PSU campus and rehabilitate the historic home of one of Portland’s first citizens.

 

Architect:                       SERA Architects AIA PC

 

General Contractor:    P & C Construction Co.

 

Funding:                     Portland State University

Portland Development Commission

Friends of Simon Benson House