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GSA's Historic 511 Federal Building to Become New Center for Art and Design

February 27, 2014

Release Date: February 27, 2014

The Agency Streamlines Federal portfolio, Saves Taxpayer Dollars

Portland, OR - The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) recently announced that the Portland Development Commission will be the owners of the historic 511 Federal Building. This is the latest in the agency’s efforts to streamline the federal property portfolio, saving taxpayer dollars and putting underused property to new uses. Working with the National Park Service, the property was conveyed to the commission as a history monument on January 16, 2014, at no cost to the City of Portland. The Portland Development Commission plans to lease the building to the Pacific Northwest College of Art. The college will transform the historic post office into the Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and Design, revitalizing the area.

Building Facts:

  • The 511 Federal Building was constructed in 1916–1918 and opened in 1919.
  • It was designed by architect Lewis P. Hobart. It is located between Portland's Old Town Chinatown and the Pearl District.
  • It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979, as the U.S. Post Office.
  • The building is six stories tall and has a footprint of approximately 20,000 square feet.

GSA Regional Administrator George Northcroft said:
"Not only is the transfer of the 511 Federal Building the latest action in our ongoing efforts to get excess federal facilities off of our books, but it is also an example of how disposing of underused property can help revitalize a community."

Additional Disposal Facts:

  • In 2013, GSA has sold or transferred more than 200 facilities across the country, generating $97.7 million in sales. And we have more than 800 properties moving into the disposal pipeline.
  • GSA sold the Portland Custom House in 2012 for $4.74 million.
  • Since 2010, GSA has completed 565 disposal transactions, which have generated $207.5 million in proceeds and eliminated more than 28,121 acres of excess land.
  • The public can find out more about GSA’s disposal efforts and opportunities to own excess property on and
Last Reviewed: 2017-08-13