The Nines

This monumental 16-story, 650,000 square-foot steel framed building was originally constructed for the Oregon-based department store, Meier & Frank, in 1909, and has been a landmark structure in the City of Portland for nearly 100 years. The Meier & Frank building was added to the National Register of Historic places in 1993.

This unique undertaking is considered one of Oregon's most complex preservation projects due to maintaining the integrity of the 100-year-old white terracotta façade while construction crews carefully demolished the interior, retrofit seismic upgrades, and erected the steel framing system inside the antiquated shell. The newly restored building includes a 331-room, 5-star luxury hotel, The Nines, which occupies nine floors atop an existing Macy's Department Store on the lower five levels. The renovation also includes 14,000 square feet of ballroom and meeting space, an elegant atrium restaurant on the lobby level, and a rooftop lounge overlooking the beautiful cityscape of Portland.

The hospitality area received LEED Silver Certification for its energy-efficient design. The structure was ranked, "Best in Show" by DJC Magazine and ranked in Top 45 Best Hotel/Mixed-Use Buildings in the World by Travel & Leisure Magazine. The Nines was also featured as a Top Project by Northwest Construction Magazine.

Hoffman Construction approached Stearns in the early phase of project development to utilize their extensive structural steel knowledge, recommend the most economical system, and assist in the design of steel framing in conjunction with critical existing building components. Stearns provided on-site personnel to assist the design team and erector with design and detailing changes that were uncovered during the demolition of the existing structure due to unforeseen conditions. This included adding, removing, and moving main structural members, connection layouts, and coordinating the demolition needs for installing both retrofit upgrades and new framing connections to the existing structure.

A unique challenge was the removal of the 6th floor to the roof to make way for a central atrium and ballroom in the center of the building. This involved the installation of 70-foot beams weighing 12,000 pounds each. These beams were transported into the center of downtown Portland during the early morning hours and lifted into place without complications. The atrium is incorporated with a pyramidal structural tube frame covered in glass. The frame was delivered to the site in pieces and welded into large assemblies on the floor of the atrium, then lifted 7 stories into place to create a structural web support for the glazing. Guest rooms are accessible at the perimeter of the atrium area with views into the atrium or outside of the building.


Project Details

Client: Portland Hotel Developer, LLC

Location: Portland, Oregon

Contractor: Hoffman Construction Co.

Architect: SERA Architects

Engineer-of-Record: KPFF Consulting Engineers

Size: 650,000 square feet

Number of Levels: 16

System Type: Structural Steel

Completion Date: 2007



LEED Silver Certification

AIA Built Citation Award in 2009

National Trust for Historic Preservation Honor Award in 2009

“Best in Show” by DJC Magazine 2009

Best Hotel for the 2009 Boutique Design Award

Ranked in Top 45 Best Hotel/Mixed-Use Buildings in the World by Travel & Leisure Magazine

Ranked #2 Top Project of 2007 by Northwest Construction Magazine