Architecture and Design | Residential | Commercial | Historic Preservation


Dr. Harvey Award

Posted on May 22nd, by raskin in Astoria, Blog. Comments Off on Dr. Harvey Award

The City of Astoria has it own historic preservation awards, the Dr. Edward Harvey Historic Preservation Award,  named after Dr. Harvey, who was instrumental in creating the historic preservation movement in Astoria.  The award is presented each year to recognize property owners who have completed exterior restoration or beautification of a building which exemplifies the historical attributes of the building or the architectural heritage of Astoria.  Of the three projects awarded this year, I was the architect for two of them.   The Columbia River Maritime Museum won the institutional category for the renovation of the Astoria Train Depot, and Bob and Nancy Ross won the multi-family category for the renovation of the Finn Housa property.

It has been one of the pleasures of doing historic preservation work in Astoria that I have been able to work on a number of projects … Read More »

New York Mag and Astoria

Posted on April 6th, by raskin in Blog. Comments Off on New York Mag and Astoria

One of the suites at the Commodore Hotel.(Photo: Courtesy of Commodore Hotel)

The New York Magazine had a recent article  extolling the virtues of Astoria. The said Astoria,  a “…former industrial town two hours from Portland has transformed into a stylish weekend destination while honoring its maritime history”.  I agree with the article and was pleased that it mentioned a number of places that I have done design work on.

I was the architect for Commodore Hotel that had laid dormant for a number of years before its resurrection as a trendy hotel. On the Cannery Pier Hotel, I gave design advice to Jake the owner/developer/designer that led to the creation of the grand lobby looking out at the river.  For the Fort George Brewery and Public House I have helped with a number of interventions, including creating the outdoor patio and helping with the … Read More »

Classes at Barbey Maritime Center

Posted on March 11th, by raskin in Blog. Comments Off on Classes at Barbey Maritime Center





The classes will begain at the Barbey Maritime Center this may.  They include boat building, knots, and native american carving.  They are weekend classes so if you live outside of Astoria, make a nice weekend of it.   You can actually do it by staying or eating at other historic renovation projects that I have worked on over the years, including the Hotel Elliott, the Commodore Hotel, Fulio’s Restaurant, Fort George Brewery, and the Schooner (now called T Paul’s Supper Club).


Astoria Public Service Building

Posted on February 28th, by raskin in Blog. Comments Off on Astoria Public Service Building

One of the buildings I have been working on recently was the Astoria Public Safety Building , which has been remodeled.  The building serves as a combined fire station and police station.  There was a small addition added to expand the Police Department, and the space was reorganized to be more efficient.  More importantly, the building was seismically upgraded to meet existing essential facility code standards.

The building was built in 1976 and is the work of Brown, Brown & Grider, a local Astoria firm that included Ebba Wicks Brown (the first women to become an architect in Oregon).  The building was built stout enough that the seismic upgrade was fairly straightforward and besides improving connections and tying the roof to the walls, the only visible change was infilling one of the fire station bays.  Locals will notice that the parapet … Read More »

Barbey Maritime Center

Posted on February 13th, by raskin in Historic Preservation. Comments Off on Barbey Maritime Center

The Astoria Train Depot has finished its journey from being a decommissioned train depot to the Barbey Maritime Center for the Columbia River Maritime Museum.  The dedication took place on Jan. 25th, where public officials, the Barbey family, the CRMM Board, and the public were able to see the finished building.

The waiting rooms have been restored to their original splendor and the light pours in through the large curved windows.  The Women’s Waiting Room is being used for meeting and conferences.  The Men’s Waiting Room has become an exhibit/work space for traditional boat building crafts.  The first such exhibit to arrive was the copper nail machine and the Museum has become the sole source of these nails worldwide.  The Waiting Rooms are a tad smaller on the inside, since the exterior walls were furred out to allow the installation of steel frames and insulation.  … Read More »

Depot update 12/3

Posted on December 3rd, by raskin in Blog. Comments Off on Depot update 12/3

The final stages of the work is progressing.  The exterior lighting have been installed.  The interior lighting is being finished up.  The interior trim work is proceeding.  The painting is being finished up.  The windows and doors are almost complete.  The brick work will be laid in the breezeway.  The HVAC system will be turned on.  The entry canopies await the metal roofing.  The wood floors in the East Building have been refinished.  The concrete floors in the West Building will get a stain and be sealed.

It is wonderful seeing the building coming together.

Depot Update 11/14

Posted on November 15th, by raskin in Blog. Comments Off on Depot Update 11/14


The entry canopy structures are completed.  The metal roofing and the gutter between the roof and the building are the next steps.  On the west side, the building sign is installed. The building is named  the Barbey Maritime Center following a generous donation to the Museum by the Barbey family that have a strong history both with maritime activities on Columbia as well as Astoria.

The interior trim is being installed and painted.  The building has plenty of natural light streaming into the spaces.  So much so, that I finally have to backtrack a bit on the comments I have made in the past about the original design.  I had questioned why the architect had done a building with a flat roof and no overhangs.  While I still question the lack of protection at the doors, I realize now that the intent … Read More »

Old is New

Posted on November 11th, by raskin in Blog. Comments Off on Old is New

The Cool Hunter website has some beautiful photos of modern additions and insertions of new buildings and elements into old historic buildings.  In all of them, the new is juxtaposed to the old rather than trying to restore the building to an original state, or reuse a traditional or classical architectural vocabulary.  This approach is actually supported in the Secretary of Interior standards, where new additions are suppose to be “of the their time” and not give an appearance that they were original when they are not.

This is the approach I took with adding the entry canopies to the Depot project in Astoria.  Taking a cue from the recent addition of the Columbia River Maritime Museums, I used the curved roof form, wood roof structure, and galvanized metal posts to create the entries.   This approach … Read More »

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