Thursday, July 16, 2009

benny and jerry

the bosco-milligan/architectural heritage center

yesterday's post about the pied cow reminded me of this wonderful organization that i used to volunteer for that i wanted to tell you about. it's called the bosco-milligan foundation (also known as the architectural heritage center). the organization was created in the name of jerry bosco and benny milligan whom individually were collecting architectural salvage in the 70s. they were each so disappointed with the destruction of old buildings going on here in portland, that they started collecting parts of the building that were being torn off and discarded in order to save a part of portland's history. friends of theirs were telling them that they really needed to meet each other as they both had the same goals and interests in mind. they eventually met, became friends then a couple and continued to work to save as much of this history that they could. they also began buying old portland houses and they even bought a building in the commercial part of town on grand avenue that later became the home of their stained glass business.

which brings me back to the pied cow as this was one of the homes that they owned as well as another one around the corner from the pied cow. isn't it such a beautiful lady? i've always loved painted ladies. i think it comes from the fact that growing up in the southwest, we really didn't have architecture like this. when we would travel to towns with victorian houses, my mom and i would go and look at them in awe. i even got to live in one once for a year. it was so beautiful but a little out of my price range and sadly i had to move after my lease was up (i'll try to get a photo of it up soon).

oh yeah, so benny and jerry acquired over 10,000 sqare feet of these salvaged goods throughout their years together, much of it being stored in their building on grand. sadly, they both passed away in the late 80s and the city was up against what to do with these goods. they were donated to the historic preservation league but it was so much for them to handle with their limited resources that the decision was made to create a foundation specifically for their collection, the bosco-milligan foundation. this foundation has done so much for the city in regards to historic preservation, including the renovation of the building on grand that benny and jerry once worked out of. they worked relentlessly to restore the building back to it's original design. over the years the building's bricks had been painted over and it was decided that what had to be done to restore the original brick facade was to individually turn the bricks around so the back side which had not been painted would face out.

the architectural heritage center finally opened a few years ago so you can go and visit this beautiful old building. it functions as a sort of "library" for home restoration where you can attend classes and work shops on topics such as windows, door knobs, etc. once a year, they host a kitchen revival tour as well as hosting historic home tours. next time you're in the neighborhood, pop in and check it out. you can also go to their website and look at upcoming events including their primary fund raiser "the riches of a city" auction. (photo by eventective)
701 se grand ave

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