This content was published: May 22, 2014. Phone numbers, email addresses, and other information may have changed.

Architectural details restored at Southeast Center

Photos and Story by

CLG german 07-17 (25) GAS looking northwest SLIDER

The 1911 Building prior to PCC’s renovations. Photo © C. Gaede

May 22, 2014 

CLG the new stairway (3)

The staircase’s open strings are put into place. Photo © C. Gaede

What’s old is new again – or is soon to be at PCC’s Southeast Center. Work began this week on reconstructing the exterior staircase of the entrance to the Center’s 1911 Building. Originally constructed as the Altenheim, a retirement home for Germans, the structure will undergo complete renovation.

Bill Stauffer, Southeast Center project manager, believes the original staircase was removed sometime in the 1950s to make it easier for people to enter the building. PCC plans to add ramps to the east and west sides of the entry porch for complete access.

Historic photo of German American Society building, Nov. 27, 1911.

In 1911, Louise Weinhard, widow of Henry Weinhard, founder of Portland’s famous brewery, donated 20 acres of land to the General German Aid Society so they could build the Altenheim, a retirement home for Germans.

One of outer southeast Portland’s oldest structures, the building housed the German American Society for several years after the Altenheim closed. The Society is now located on NE Sandy Boulevard. Purchased by the college in 2010, the structure will undergo complete renovation to become the home to campus administration, the Community Education Program, two new classroom and a hall for use by the college and community.

Renovations to the 1911 Building are expected to be complete in June, 2014.

PCC’S 2008 voter-approved $374 million bond program is increasing opportunities for residents to access quality, affordable higher education close to where they live and work. Additional classrooms, updated equipment and technology, and advanced workforce training programs are helping to pave the way for future employment options. For more information, visit

About Karen Kane

Karen Kane is the Community Relations Manager for the Sylvania Campus. A passionate storyteller and communicator, Karen has told the stories for several organizations in Portland, including the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry and the ... more »