Building Blocks LLC Announce Renovation Launch of Architect Frank Lawrence Shell Former Private Residence

Portland, OR – June 8, 2011 – Building Blocks llc, architectural preservation re-modelers, announce the commencement of a renovation project of the Frank Shell family home originally built in 1960. The home features original teak woodwork throughout, three atriums, and dramatic “saw-tooth” roof-line. Primarily a public/educational project architect, Frank Shell created his home as a showcase of a unique form of “pinch and open” relationship between space and light, creating a naturalistic yet modern placement for a family burrow. Rooms are exposed to light through one or more complete glass walls, oversize windows, and numerous skylights which compliment nearby atrium rooms.

Located within walking distance to the warm and family friendly Multnomah Village, this home offers authentic mid-century living with the advantages of 20th Century efficiency.

“When I walked into the house it immediately spoke to me as a unique example of modern architecture. Even on a dreary winter day, it instantly transported me to the bright outdoor culture reminiscent of the Case Study Homes of Southern California (1945 -1966). Here in Portland, there are so many great examples of mid-century modern homes, but this one, more than others I’ve been into, really blurs the lines between inside and out. This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity for me, as it is a one of a kind property. My goal with this project is to update the functionality of the space while respecting Shell’s design aesthetic.”

About Frank Lawrence Shell, Historic Register Architect

Frank Shell received his degree in architecture from Washington State College. He moved to Portland Oregon in 1949 and began to work with two partners, Jonathan Farnham and Charles Hoyt, creating the firm Farnham, Shell and Hoyt.

Frank Shell deceased in late 2006, at the age of 86.

Public Works of Frank Shell and Associates

American Institute of Architecture biography listings for 1962:

Public Works of Frank Shell

American Institute of Architecture biography listings for 1970:

Building Blocks Presents:

“An Evening at the Shell Family Home – Invitation to Live the Sputnik Era”

Building Blocks will host a one-night only event featuring period interior design and art of the mid-century. The event kicks-off with a special invitation to perspective buyers allowing them the opportunity to walk through the home as it was designed to be used, decorated and lived. This is a relaxed forum for asking questions regarding the renovation project, choices in materials and improved energy efficiency.

Stroll through the space as it was intended, enjoying nature through focal points that meet you in surprising places. Imagine in real-time the lifestyle of mid-century living as you stroll through long hallways, catch tree top vistas and hear the echoing chatter of birds within the three atrium spaces.

Space is limited. Interested parties are encouraged to contact Building Blocks for registration. There is no charge for this event. Qualified buyers and interested parties will be given early entry and historical tour.

The event is free to attend; a suggested donation of $10.00 for the Architectural Heritage Center will be collected at the door.

For registration and further information, please email: Historic MidCentury Frank Shell Home

Location: Former Shell Family Residence

Address: 4725 SW Canterbury Lane; at SW 45th and Garden Home Rd. View Map Here

Date: Thursday, July 28th

Early Entry for Confirmed Registrants: 6 pm

General Guest Entry: 7 pm

Event will conclude at: 8:30 pm

Beneficiary: Architectural Heritage Center

About Building Blocks Builders

Building Blocks LLC is a full service design-and-build company located in Portland, Oregon.

When you work with Building Blocks, you get more than just a building contractor. You also get people who are passionate about good design and excellent execution. We believe that every project is an opportunity to enhance your home’s beauty. Your vision is important to us: we observe your style, ask about your objectives, and understand your concerns. With these goals in mind, we can then offer additional design perspectives and propose innovative alternatives. We always honor your choices. We listen to you.

Building Blocks uses green materials and ecologically responsible business practices. >From reclaimed wood to low-VOC paints, we believe that green building creates a healthier and happier home. We source materials locally, yet our network of suppliers is nationwide.

Additional Information and Photos

Shell Family Home – Ash Creek Area, Portland Oregon

Shell Family Home – Photo Gallery on Flickr

Frank Shell – History and Work

1955 Frank Shell – Home in SW Portland

Frank Shell Home Under Renovation – Flash Shuffle

Images and links graciously provided by: Marisa Swenson,

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