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Pacific Northwest College of Art unveils $30 million renovation plan for 511 Building


Pacific Northwest College of Art announces campaign for the new Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and Design.

In a “>June 2, 2012 article in the Oregonian, staff writer Elliot Njus covers PNCA’s $15 million philanthropic campaign, CREATIVITY WORKS HERE, in support of its strategic move to renovate the historic former federal post office at 511 NW Broadway and to anchor the PNCA campus on the North Park Blocks in downtown Portland. The College announced the official launch of the campaign, along with $5 million lead gift from the Harold and Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation to name the renovated building the Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and Design. The gift is the largest from an alumna or alumnus in the school’s 103-year history. Arlene Schnitzer is an alumna of The Museum School, now Pacific Northwest College of Art.


Architect’s rendering, courtesy of Allied Works Architecture.

PNCA is working with acclaimed architect Brad Cloepfil of Allied Works Architecture to transform the former post office into a conduit for a world-class curriculum of experimental, leading-edge work emerging from studio process, a commitment to craft, and the practice of design and fine art thinking. The design preserves key historical features while creating a new realm of public interface and arts education with beautiful spaces for art exhibitions, lectures, and events in addition to classrooms, production facilities, and an elegant library and object studies collection space.

As Njus writes, “It’s a significant development for the small but fast-growing private college, which currently leases much of its classroom and office space in a handful of Pearl District buildings. In fact, the school leased its main campus building on Northwest Johnson Street until buying it in 2008. But it’s also the beginning of a plan to build a campus around the North Park Blocks. The school already oversees the Museum of Contemporary Craft a few blocks away from its new headquarters, and it has proposed a new student housing building that would be owned and operated by the Powell family. PNCA administrators say they hope the cluster will create a campus-like atmosphere, with the North Park Blocks as a built-in quad.”

You can read more about the plans for the 511 NW Broadway building – including state-of-the-art classrooms, a flexible black box theater, object-studies library, and expansive gallery space – in the complete article in the Oregonian here: “Pacific Northwest College of Art unveils $30 million renovation plan for 511 Building.”


The future Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and Design. Photo by Matthew Miller ’11.

— Posted on 06/03 at 04:29 PM

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