Portland’s Mississippi/Williams neighborhood has gone from grungy to trendy seemingly overnight. What was once a place where businesses operated behind barred doors and shuttered windows is now filled with local shops, popular restaurants and eccentric independent businesses. read more
This transition has not been without difficulty. It can be quite depressing to see old homes being demolished and hauled to the dump to make way for new condos or apartment buildings but this neighborhood is different from most. It turns out there’s hope for these old homes by way of a local nonprofit called The ReBuilding Center. Occupying the entire block between North Fremont and North Beech streets, the ReBuilding Center is helping the neighborhood make a healthy transition by carefully deconstructing these old homes keeping up to 80% of the materials out of the waste stream.
You see, it turns out these older homes are made from high quality, old-growth wood with incredibly fine grain making it perfect for reuse in many ways. The materials gleaned from the deconstruction process are sold out of the ReBuilding Center’s massive warehouse where they have the largest collection of salvaged construction materials in the Pacific Northwest. The nonprofit plows 100% of their profits back into the community through community outreach programs and grassroots projects. It’s a win/win as customers get old wood that looks great for exposed beams or upcycled cabinet doors and trees are saved.