Pioneer Courthouse

Project Updates

The Pioneer Courthouse renovation continues with the addition of new scaffolding used to facilitate the removal and replacement of the parapet wall in the single storied center of the courthouse for rehabilitation and the removal and replacement of the deteriorated "beltcourse" stones.

The scaffold will ensure worker safety, and act as protection for the public from the work area. The replacement stones weigh in at many hundreds of pounds each.

Updated 9/14/17

Pioneer Courthouse Gets Makeover Starting this Summer

Pioneer Courthouse, Portland, OR, with exterior scaffolding and construction fencing partially around the building
Scaffolding at the Pioneer Courthouse

GSA has begun construction on an exterior restoration project of the 142-year-old Pioneer Courthouse located in downtown Portland.

The exterior improvement project will help preserve the oldest existing federal building in the Pacific Northwest and second oldest west of the Mississippi.

“GSA is eager to get started on this important restoration project to one of the most significant historic buildings on the West Coast,” said Northwest/Arctic Region GSA Acting Regional Commissioner, Lisa Pearson.

The work on this important historical Portland building includes restoration, repair, and replacement of the stone belt course and parapet. A restoration of more than 1,000 linear feet of wrought-iron fencing, replacement of fence parts such as capstone, piers, and the rebuilding of sections of the perimeter stone wall is also part of the $1.7 million project.

This project will also preserve areas of the facade where degradation has occurred due to water seepage.

Crews are expected to start mid-May and continue into the fall of 2017. Perimeter fencing will be installed around the entire building for security and safety purposes. The fence may limit pedestrian accessibility on the sidewalks.

Individuals interested in information about the project’s progress or the history of the courthouse can go to www.gsa.gov/pioneercourthouse.

The Pioneer Courthouse, built in 1875, experienced its first major rehabilitation in 1973, when it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Pioneer Courthouse was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1977.

In 2002, the Courthouse went through a major modernization rehabilitation including building systems, seismic retrofitting and extensive restoration and maintenance of the building’s design. In 2005, the exterior of the courthouse underwent a major stone patching project. Additional patching and work on the fencing is now necessary.

The courthouse is one of four primary locations where the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit hears oral arguments. It also houses the chambers of the Portland-based judges on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Pioneer Courthouse facade damage

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