Sovereign Hotel Restoration Award

Beautiful Sovereign Hotel Restoration

Sovereign Hotel Renovation Team Celebrates Project of the Year Award
Members of the project team behind the Sovereign Hotel renovation, submitted by R&H Construction and Emerick Architects, celebrate the Project of the Year award. (Sam Tenney/DJC)

Versatile Wood Products is proud to stand alongside Emerick Architects and R&H Construction to win DJC Top Project of the Year Award for the restoration of the Sovereign Hotel! The DJC awards are:

“… the premier awards program for the region’s built environment. Honoring the best building and construction projects in Oregon
and SW Washington, DJC TopProjects is the must-attend annual event to meet the people and firms who are doing outstanding work in the regional built environment.”

DJCOregon

Watch a beautiful video on the restoration of this 95-year-old luxury apartment hotel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DcgLp3Ig85M

A Brief History of the Sovereign Hotel

Since its construction the Sovereign Hotel has been an apartment building, radio station, and home to the Oregon Historical Society.

Sovereign Hotel

The landmark Sovereign Hotel was built in 1923. The nine-story building is a Georgian-style designed by Carl L. Linde. Its first occupants were KFWV radio in 1926 until 1927. In 1938, Harry Mittleman bought the Hotel; until 1972 it was known as the Sovereign Apartments. The Sovereign Hotel was added to the United States National Register of Historic Places on December 2, 1981. In 1982 the Oregon Historical Society (OHS) purchased the building to expand the Oregon History Center.

Sovereign Hotel

One of the most beloved aspects of the Hotel is the murals. The Hotel is an L-shaped building with six sides. On four of the sides, murals commissioned by OHS were painted in 1989 by Richard Hass. Two of these murals rise eight stories.  One side depicts the Lewis and Clark expedition, while the mural on the south side shows the pioneer period in Oregon’s history. In 2014 OHS sold the Hotel under the agreement that the new owner would preserve the murals.

Versatile and the Sovereign Hotel

For Versatile, the story started in August of 2015. Our team started exploring scope options with the team from Emerick to see what the possibilities were. Versatile’s historic building experts participated in detailed site assessments to help decide how to best approach the building restoration. We were able to propose an array of strategies to choose from.

Flash Forward to Spring of 2016:

While the window scope was being sorted out and set in motion, we next concentrated on the custom storefront and entryway system. The storefront was particularly challenging. This was because the oversized tempered glass required was larger than any domestic tempering oven that we could locate. The glass ultimately had to be sourced from Canada.

The storefront was constructed out of Sapele. This beautiful material is often selected for stain-grade products because of its rich, dark appearance. Versatile will also utilize it for paint-grade applications when high exposure calls for greater resistance to weathering and decay. The entry system, consisting of quartersawn white oak door, side panels, and arched transom, were designed to coordinate with original materials and details.

We Rose to a New Technical Challenge with the Arched Transom Unit:

For maximum accuracy, we looked to our state-of-the-art CNC machine to produce the radiused pieces. The geometric precision on some of the slender pieces was so accurate and consistent, we have since adapted our production to incorporate this strategy. This is a perfect example of how Versatile strives to bring new technologies together with traditional building methods to create the best products possible.

Additional interior and exterior oak doors were added in succession, as well as some cabinet drawers and faces (yes, we do that too!). All in all, we had 13 phases to this project, finally concluding in August of 2017.

Check Out our Photos

Sovereign Hotel
Sovereign plans and arched pieces
Sovereign Hotel
Sovereign arched transom in progress
Sovereign Hotel
Sovereign Arched Transom Gluing
Sovereign Hotel
Chuck from R&H Construction stands in front of the Sovereign door and arched transom

Design Week Open House: Thursday, April 19th

With the sun shining, beer on tap and music in the air, Versatile opened their doors to guests for Design Week on April 19th and introduced the new semi-custom windows line, Ingenuity; demonstrated the efficient biomass boiler system and gave tours of their space to curious builders, contractors, architects, designers and anyone who wanted to learn more!

Design Week
Charley Adams plays acoustic melodies to welcome guests
Design Week
Richard explains the mission behind developing his first product line, Ingenuity Windows. “We were tired of dealing with the big box suppliers offering poor service and a low quality product, so we decided to make our own,” says Richard
Design Week
Amount of ash the Biomass Boiler System produces each day.
Design Week
Loyal, who helps keep the boiler stoked, lifts the door to demonstrate how the Biomass Boiler system is fueled.
Design Week
The amount of recycled paper it takes to start the boiler.
Design Week
Versatile Operations Coordinator, Brian Hoffman, was instrumental in making this system work.
Design Week
The wood byproduct is used for the boiler system.
Design Week
Andrew from Wisewood Energy explains how the boiler system helps the environment.
Design Week
Kelson from the Energy Trust of Oregon explains ways other small businesses can save money and help the environment with energy saving tools.
Design Week
Onlookers enjoy the presentations, music and networking.

We hope to see you at our next event!

Hawthorne Theatre Custom Window Restoration

Hawthorne Theater
Hawthorne Theatre

Window Restoration Commences at the Hawthorne Theatre

In a rapidly growing city like Portland, preserving “Old Portland” is important to its residents. To companies like Versatile, restoring Portland is job #1.  Our current project is a complete rebuild of the original weather damaged windows of the grand Hawthorne Theatre.  This building was originally designed and built by the Eastside Masons in 1917. It remains a centerpiece of SE Portland. The Masons abandoned the property in the 1970s due to dwindling members. The building was resurrected in 2005 as The Hawthorne Theatre and the Hawthorne Theatre Lounge.

Hawthorne Theater

The skilled artisans at Versatile Wood Products are uniquely qualified to perform this complete rebuilding of these intricate windows. Versatile specializes in traditional and historic reproductions. Six of the grand window sashes were so badly deteriorated they required a complete remove, repair and/or replace. With the help of  Viridian, a restoration and installation partner, a single window was brought back to the Versatile design team.  The original window, shown above, was dismantled and used as a template for replication. 

Hawthorne Theater

Each detail is recreated from the original. Versatile creates the glass stops, size and sash thickness to replicate the authenticity of the original “master builders.” Because the refurbished sections will be installed adjacent to originals, every detail must be preserved and replicated. 

Hawthorne Theater

True to the mission of “ingenuity,” Versatile, with our master highly skilled carpenters, recreate accurate historic century reproductions of the finest quality to preserve Portland as seen with our newest Hawthorne Theatre renovation.