You've probably heard of a major development for downtown's food scene that's aiming for a November launch: The Pine Street Market project is reviving the historic Carriage and Baggage Building at the corner of SW 2nd and Pine. Originally built in 1886 as a parking lot for horses and carriages, it soon after became storage and retail for Mallory Logging and Contractors Supplies. Then, in 1969, it was reinvented as the first Portland location of the Old Spaghetti Factory until 1981, when its ground floor began rotating through a number of nightclub incarnations.
Partly because its top floors in particular were mainly used for storage, the building's original architecture is remarkably well preserved—when Siteworks acquired it for the project, the uppermost floor was basically immaculate. The renovation is now well underway, with the original framing, floors, and brickwork preserved or re-purposed as much as possible. A cell phone tower attached to the roof is coming off, and the new roof will uncover an original skylight that runs most of the length of the building, allowing natural light to reach the ground floor through the old horse elevator shaft. (Parts that won't be kept or reused in the space are being eyed by a number of interested parties—it's not that common to find this much material of this vintage in such good condition.)
With a fancy food hall (expect such things as a coffee shop and a florist in addition to restaurant counters more so than grocery type establishments, and expect them to be impressive: Mike Thelin, food journalist and co-founder of Feast Portland among other things, has been enlisted as "Culinary Curator") and two floors of creative office space forthcoming, the completed project will no doubt be sparkling. But as it is now—with the muck of the first floor ripped out to reveal the original openness of the space and its thick, venerable Douglas Fir bones exposed, but before any layers of fancy have been applied—you can get a sense of it as it was originally built.