Hallock and McMillan Building: A Love Story


In 1857, the Hallock-McMillan Building opened its doors along Portland’s waterfront. Erected by Absalom Hallock, the city’s first architect, the building was Portland’s first and oldest brick commercial structure, adorned with cast iron decorative arches on its facade.
During the 1940s, the building’s owner stripped away the cast iron columns and arches to give the structure a modern appearance. And there it sat, until 2011, when Portland developer John Russell bought the Hallock-McMillan. He launched plans to upgrade the building’s interior, and restore the building’s exterior to its original 1857 glory.
Every building as a story, and John turned to the Wave One Films to help him tell this one.

John initially commissioned us to help him document the process of pouring the cast iron design elements for the building’s facade. But videotaping the iron pour was a small part of the restoration story. We knew there was a deeper story to be told, and, with John’s blessing, we set out to find it.

What we did
We spent time with the craftsmen who painstakingly recreated the cast iron elements to the exacting standards of 1857. We interviewed a historian, who explained the role cast iron architecture played in Portland’s early history. We also interviewed John Russell, who shared his personal passion for preserving the past.

John is using this video to market the building to tenants looking for office space. As soon as tenants are signed, John will take the cast iron design elements out of storage and attach them to the exterior of the building.


Holly PaigeComment