The Portland Gas & Coke Building

Gasco, the old Portland Gas & Coke Building, was a landmark familiar to many Portlanders.

Background

In 1913, Portland Gas & Coke built a plant in North Portland to manufacture gas from oil – the technology of the time. When an interstate pipeline began delivering natural gas to Portland in the 1950s, the company ceased manufacturing gas at the plant and shut it down.

For many years, the vacant Gasco administration building was the only structure remaining on site from those days. With its stark and mysterious exterior, Gasco garnered attention from architectural aficionados, real estate prospectors and curious onlookers driving past on Highway 30.

Over time it became extremely unsafe and structurally unsound. The building was contaminated with asbestos, lead and other materials. Its location—adjacent to industrial property requiring cleanup as part of the Portland Harbor Superfund project and near secure company operations—made Gasco unfit for commercial redevelopment.

Gasco’s legacy

NW Natural demolished the building in the fall of 2015. The company had delayed its removal for nearly two years after a community group asked to lead a fundraising effort, with the goal of preserving the building as a monument. Unfortunately that effort was not successful.

But Gasco lives on. The clock from the building’s clock tower still keeps time at Oregon State University’s Benton Hall, where it was installed in 1988. NW Natural donated a series of framed images to the nearby Linnton Community Center and the Cultural Heritage Center. And, a piece of Gasco has been preserved for inclusion in some future NW Natural construction or renovation project.

NW Natural maintains a collection of historic and professional photos of the site, examples of which can be seen in this slideshow. Email media@nwnatural.com to request copies of these images.

Gasco

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The donation of the building’s clock made to OSU’s historic Benton Hall in 1988.

Gasco

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The donation of the building’s clock made to OSU’s historic Benton Hall in 1988.

Gasco

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The donation of the building’s clock made to OSU’s historic Benton Hall in 1988.

Gasco

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NW Natural’s former administration building in North Portland.

Gasco

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NW Natural’s former administration building in North Portland.

Gasco

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NW Natural’s former administration building in North Portland.

Gasco

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NW Natural’s former administration building in North Portland.

Gasco

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NW Natural’s former administration building in North Portland.

Gasco

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NW Natural’s former administration building in North Portland.

Gasco

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NW Natural’s former administration building in North Portland.