SHOP: The ReBuilding Center
I cannot imagine Portland without The ReBuilding Center (TRC). There's something about that place that embodies a side of Portland that is just so, Portland. [A brief disclaimer here...I was a co-founder of TRC back in 1998 and now years later, I've joined the Board of its parent organization, Our United Villages.] With that aside, I still think I can sing its praises and hopefully introduce a few new people to TRC.
The ReBuilding Center was started to divert reusable building materials from the waste stream and to provide a funding mechanism for Our United Villages' neighborhood enhancement projects (visit www.ourunitedvillages.org to find out more about TRC's parent organization). Functioning similar to a thrift store, anyone is invited to donate (for a tax deductible receipt) or purchase surplus, reusable building materials. Have a pile of supplies left over from a kitchen remodel? Donate it to TRC instead of throwing it away. Need clear vertical grain fir to finish out that masterful renovation of your craftsman bungalow? TRC has it. Add to this inventory thousands of doors, windows, landscaping materials, hardware, plumbing fixtures and complete kitchen cabinet sets and you get a sense of what you can donate or find at TRC.
Located on the south end of the buzzing N. Mississippi district, TRC recently completed expanding its facility. Adding 28,000 square feet of retail space and 11,000 square feet for off street parking, TRC is now the largest used building material outlet in America! But leave it to TRC to not just add a few concrete block buildings to match its original warehouse, but to instead respectfully up the ante of Portland's architectural palette. The new additions are easily some of the most remarkable buildings to actually be permitted and built in Portland in many years. [I am still a big fan of the Natural Capital Building (review coming), but for very different reasons.] With soaring rooflines that extend to towering heights, these buildings do not overwhelm, they inspire. To match the scale of neighboring residences, the facade of the new additions is punctuated by individual characteristics that say "house" more than industrial building. In fact, you might mistake one of the buildings for a new condominium development despite its almost block-long run. Finally, there are other touches that suggest a connection to the people and community where TRC is located. An off-street sheltered bike rack and naturally sculpted benches at the front entrance say – “come on in, hang out here, be a part of this place.” I cannot think of many other businesses that extend such graces to customers or the neighborhood.
Now there’s a lot more to TRC than what I’ve discussed here. Rather than go into more detail, I suggest you just go check it out for yourself. You might just find that Kermit the frog-green sink you need to match the other bathroom fixtures in that ranch you just bought.
The ReBuilding Center
3625 N. Mississippi Ave.
Portland, OR 97227
Open Monday – Saturday 9-6