Marshall High School (Portland, Oregon)

Marshall High School (Portland, Oregon)
LC Subject
Architecture, American Architecture--United States
Southeast High School (Portland, Oregon)
Stanton Boles Maguire and ChurchChurch Stanton, Glenn Boles, Rollin H. Maguire, Keith R. Church, Kingsley D.
Creator Display
Stanton, Boles, Maguire, and Church (architecture firm, 1955-1969) Glenn Stanton (architect, 1896-1969) Rollin H. Boles (architect, 1913-1992) Keith Robert Maguire (architect,1909-1990) Kinglsey Dearborn Church (architect, 1898-1969)
This image is included in Building Oregon: Architecture of Oregon and the Pacific Northwest, a digital collection which provides documentation about the architectural heritage of the Pacific Northwest.
Oregon Historic Site Form. Prepared by Iris Eschen.
University of Oregon Libraries
Style Period
International Style (modern European architecture style)
Work Type
architecture (object genre) built works views (visual works) exterior views public schools (buildings) architectural drawings (visual works) plans (orthographic projections) plans, floor
Portland >> Multnomah County >> Oregon >> Pacific Northwest Multnomah County >> Oregon >> Pacific Northwest Oregon >> Pacific Northwest United States
Street Address
3905 SE 91st Avenue
View Date
In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted
Building Oregon
Primary Set
Building Oregon
University of Oregon
PPS Historic Building Assessment 2009
Oregon Historic Site Form Marshall High School 3905 91st Ave Portland, Multnomah County block nbr: lot nbr: tax lot nbr: R33336 township: range: section: 1/ 4: LOCATION AND PROPERTY NAME elig. evaluation: not eligible/ non- contributing primary orig use: School secondary orig use: primary style: International secondary style: primary siding: Standard Brick secondary siding: plan type: Modern School Portland historic name: Marshall High School primary constr date: 1960 secondary date: height (# stories): 3 total # ineligible resources: 1 ( optional-- use for major addns) current/ other names: Southeast High School ( c.) ( c.) orig use comments: prim style comments: sec style comments: location descr: assoc addresses: vcnty address: ( remote sites) siding comments: Variegated tan brick PROPERTY CHARACTERISTICS farmstead/ cluster name: zip: total # eligible resources: 0 apprx. addrs resource type: Building NR status: RLS survey date: 6/ 26/ 2009 external site #: 220 ( ID# used in city/ agency database) survey project name or other grouping name comments/ notes: ILS survey date: 6/ 26/ 2009 Gen File date: SHPO INFO FOR THIS PROPERTY NR date listed: GROUPINGS / ASSOCIATIONS Optional Information 3905 SE 91st Ave Multnomah County ( former addresses, intersections, etc.) architect: Stanton, Boles, Maguire & Church builder: NR date listed: ( indiv listed only; see Grouping for hist dist) 106 Project( s) PPS Historic Building Assessment 2009 Survey & Inventory Project Marshall High School Printed on: 10/ 14/ 2009 Page 1 of 4 Oregon Historic Site Form Marshall High School 3905 91st Ave Portland, Multnomah County ARCHITECTURAL / PROPERTY DESCRIPTION ( Include expanded description of the building/ property, setting, significant landscape features, outbuildings, and alterations) HISTORY ( Chronological, descriptive history of the property from its construction through at least the historic period [ preferably to the present]) Description Summary Marshall High School is located 3905 SE 91st Ave. in the Lents neighborhood of southeast Portland. The 23 acre campus includes only the main school building ( 1959, 220A). The three story building is largely devoid of architectural embellishments, but the internal functions of the school, such as the stairwells, hallways, library, auditorium, and gymnasium are clearly communicated by the building’s fenestration patterns, overall massing, and varying building heights. The building mixes an external skin of variegated tan- colored brick with expansive banks of plate glass windows that form the building’s curtain walls. Cantilevered overhangs shade the windows on each floor on the west and south sides, while no eaves are present on the north and east sides. The interior follows a square shaped corridor plan that provides access to all classrooms, the auditorium, cafeteria, and the gymnasium. Architectural Description Marshall High School is situated in the Lents neighborhood of southeast Portland. The campus consists of a 23 acre square- shaped property that extends northward to gain access to SE 91st Avenue. Development in the surrounding area consists primarily of single family residences built between 1945 and 1970 as well as large scale retail with the presence of large “ big box” stores situated to the west at Eastport Plaza ( www. portlandmaps. com). The campus consists of the main school building erected over one period of construction in 1959. The school is approached via a U- shaped drive that affords easy student drop offs and access to surface parking lots as well as the playing fields. An oval track, football field, and grandstand as well as other playing fields are located to the south of the main building. The main ( east) entrance into the school consists of three double door entries that are recessed into the building as the second floor is supported by a single round concrete column. The west elevation exhibits only two floors while the remainder of the building features three stories due to a change in the topography that descends from west to east. While banks of plate glass windows extend to the north of the entry, a large round edged double height volume, the auditorium and music wing, extends to the west. The north elevation features three floors of plate glass windows interrupted at three points by three floors of small square windows that mark stairwells. The stairwells are similarly marked on the east and south elevations as well. A one story largely unfenestrated boiler building is situated to the west of the north elevation. The west elevation exhibits a one story shop extension and a double- height, largely unfenestrated gymnasium that projects from this side of the building. The second and third floors of this elevation, however, feature a different fenestration on the second and third floors. Due to the lack of classrooms on the exterior face of the building, the single loaded corridor is illuminated by small square windows. Due to the lack of large windows, no cantilevered overhang is located on this end of the building. Two double- door entries provide access into the gymnasium on the west elevation. On the south elevation is a one story extension that serves as the kitchen for the adjoining cafeteria which is located within the main building. Each bank of windows is shaded by a cantilevered shade. The interior corridors are arranged in a square- shaped plan with the more specialized spaces extending from the exterior. The corridors and classrooms generally feature 12” by 12” tiles and are illuminated by tubular fluorescent lighting. The locker- lined corridors also feature ceramic tile walls. The classrooms are generally square- shaped and have acoustic tile ceilings. The high school also features an entirely enclosed, terraced courtyard that descends from east to west. The terrace is marked by vegetation. The lower terrace features a series of concrete beds to the north. A central walkway provides access from the east to west corridors as well as through the corridors directly to the exterior. The library intrudes into the courtyard and is supported by a series of cylindrical columns on the bottom floor. Alterations/ Integrity Marshall High School has not been significantly modified since it was constructed. Some ADA improvements were made in 1994 and 1995 and classroom models have occurred in several areas since the school was erected. These modifications are minor in scale and do not significantly detract from any of the character- defining features of the school. The school, therefore, retains its integrity of design, materials, location, association, feeling, workmanship, and setting. Printed on: 10/ 14/ 2009 Page 2 of 4 Oregon Historic Site Form Marshall High School 3905 91st Ave Portland, Multnomah County RESEARCH INFORMATION Title Records Sanborn Maps Obituaries City Directories Census Records Biographical Sources Newspapers Building Permits Property Tax Records SHPO Files State Archives State Library Local Histories Interviews Historic Photographs Local Library: Multnomah County Library University Library: Portland State University Library Historical Society: Oregon Historical Society Other Repository: PPS Archives ( Check all of the basic sources consulted and cite specific important sources) Significance Statement In 1945, the citizens of Portland approved a ballot measure that provided $ 5,000,000 over five years to construct, improve, and rehabilitate its public school buildings ( Portland Public Schools 1945: 2). The ballot measure enabled PPS to respond to the explosive growth in school- age children that had occurred in the city as a result of the arrival of defense plant workers and their families, as well as the deferred maintenance arising from the lack of funds during the depression ( Portland Public Schools 1945: 2- 3). Beginning with this initial bond measure, PPS embarked on an effort to improve its school facilities through renovations, additions, and new construction of over fifty schools between 1945 and 1970. For the new building program, PPS schools adopted the call of architects and school planners across the country for new types of schools. Nationally known architects including Richard Neutra, the Walter Gropius led Architects Collective, and the Perkins Will architectural firm promoted new school types that reflected both evolving educational practices and design philosophies ( Ogata 2008: 567- 568; Perkins and Cocking 1949: 238- 246). Emphasizing the need for economy and rapid construction, the designers adopted new materials that were standardized and mass produced including steel, plywood, glass block, and aluminum. In many buildings, architects achieved flexibility through the building’s structure by employing non- load- bearing partitions walls and zoned ventilation and heating systems. Folding walls and moveable cabinets provided additional flexibility intended to enable teachers to rearrange rooms based on lesson plan and activities ( Ogata 2008: 568). Although many of the architects for schools in Portland continued to design their schools to be extensible, designers turned away from the two- story schools with centralized massing and the period revivals that were popular in the 1920s. Instead many architects adopted the principles of the Modern movement and its regional variant, the Northwest Regional style, choosing to express functional areas through massing and materials to create innovative forms ( McMath 1974: 628). Classrooms featured extensive built- ins that included sinks, slots for bulky rolls of paper, and coat storage. Many buildings incorporated interior courtyards which facilitated access to the outdoors and expanded the opportunities for passive ventilation and daylighting. In the aftermath of World War II, residential development in southeast Portland boomed as new, more suburban neighborhoods sprung up on the periphery of Portland’s city limits. Beginning in 1957 and until 1960, PPS began purchasing individual tax lots outside of the city limits near SE 91st Avenue for the purpose of constructing a new high school to better serve the residents of “ outer” southeast Portland ( PPS Chronology Binder). In all, PPS spent $ 96,955.44 for the properties and after including the sales of houses that once occupied the lots. The cost of construction of the school, $ 4.768 million, surpassed all previous high schools constructed by PPS ( PPS Chronology Binder). Designed by Stanton, Boles, Maguire and Church, the John Marshall High School was originally called Southeast High School until it was renamed for the U. S. Supreme Court justice who was credited with establishing the principle of judicial review ( Oregon Journal 10- 13- 1960). A native of Iowa, Glenn Stanton graduated from the University of Oregon. He received his M. A. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Stanton returned to Portland where he worked with Morris H. Whitehouse, eventually becoming a partner in the firm of Whitehouse, Stanton & Church. In 1935 Stanton opened his own firm. Stanton later entered into partnership with Hollis Johnston. In 1955, Stanton formed the partnership of Stanton, Boles, Maguire, and Church – a firm that would be responsible for designing Madison and Marshall High Schools in 1955 and 1960 respectively. Significant work designed by this firm included military projects, structures for the new Lewis & Clark College Campus, and the Stadium Branch of the U. S. Nation Bank. Stanton was also known for supervising the restoration of the McLoughlin House ( 1846) in Oregon City. This project was one of the early architectural preservation projects in the state ( Ritz 2003: 368). Marshall High School reflected prevailing ideas concerning high school design in the 1950s and 1960s. The school featured a square corridor plan with the various functions of the school decentralized around all parts of the square. The gymnasium, auditorium, cafeteria, were all designed to serve as appendages to the square corridor plan. The building, largely constructed with exterior curtain walls that consisted half of brick and half of glass, also featured cantilevered eaves on each of its three floors on only the south and west sides of the building to reduce the amount of glare caused by sunlight. Other interesting components of the school include an undersized auditorium to reduce the size of heated spaces, sliding partitions that could increase classroom sizes and permit work with team teaching techniques, as well as a large terraced courtyard located in the middle of the building ( Oregonian 11- 6- 1960). The high school building has not been extensively modified over time and retains most if not all of its character- defining features. Despite the retention of its historical integrity, Marshall High School does not appear to be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. Although associated with the suburban expansion of southeast Portland, the high school’s overall design was not noted as being necessarily innovative for the time period. Other high schools constructed in Portland in the 1950s and 1960s, such as Wilson High School, garnered wide attention for their unique method of construction and architectural design ( Oregon Journal 1- 1- 1956). Jackson High School ( now Jackson Middle School) received attention for its unique building forms and planning that reflected the evolving educational and administrative philosophies of the time. When placed in context with these other high school buildings, Marshall High School does not appear to be as good an example of the high school property type in the post- war period. Printed on: 10/ 14/ 2009 Page 3 of 4 Oregon Historic Site Form Marshall High School 3905 91st Ave Portland, Multnomah County Bibliography: Bibliography McMath, George. “ A Regional Style Comes to the City.” In Space, Style and Structure: Buildings in Northwest America. Ed. Thomas Vaughan, 467- 499. Portland: Oregon Historical Society, 1974. Ogata, Amy F. “ Building for Learning in Postwar American Elementary Schools.” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Vol. 67, no. 4, December 2008: 562- 591. Oregonian. “ School Building Planned to Meet Student Needs.” 9- 6- 1960. Oregon Journal. “ School of ‘ Firsts’: Portland’s Woodrow Wilson High School Built with New Structural Techniques.” 1- 1- 1956. Perkins, Lawrence B and Walter D. Cocking. Schools. New York: Reinhold Publishing Corporation, 1949. Portland Public Schools. Repairing, Rehabilitating and Modernizing the School Plant. Portland: Portland Public Schools. Office of the Superintendent, 1945. _______. School Chronology Binder. Ritz, Richard. E. Architects of Oregon. A Biographical Dictionary of Architects Deceased – 19th and 20th Centuries. Portland: Lair Hill Publishing, 2003. Printed on: 10/ 14/ 2009 Page 4 of 4 Main entrance, east elevation ( 220A). East elevation near main entrance ( 220A) Courtyard, looking northeast ( 220A). View of south elevation ( 220A). Marshall High School Exterior Photos ENTRIX, 2009 Interior courtyard, looking southeast ( 220A). Typical corridor near main entrance. Shop classroom. Cafeteria detail of structural columns. Auditorium seating detal. Library overlooking the courtyard. Marshall High School Interior Photos ENTRIX, 2009 Marshall High School 3905 SE 91st Ave, Portland OR, 97266 Building Periods 1. Original Building ( 220A), 1959 Aerial photo © 2009 Metro, Portland OR Imagery Date: July 12, 2007 SE 88th Ave Late 1950s architectural rendering of the Marshall High School. View Site in Google Maps Historical Significance and Building Integrity Contrib: High Significance Contrib: Moderate Signif. Non- Contributing 0’ 50’ 100’ 200’ N sandy Blvd Lombard st powell Blvd 82nd ave MLK jr b lvd 1