The Phoenix Pharmacy building in Southeast Portland will reopen with a Foster Outdoor shop (photos)

The Phoenix Pharmacy building in Southeast Portland will reopen with a Foster Outdoor shop (photos) ...

Everyone who enters the century-old in Southeast Portland seems to have a story to tell. And those stories are assisting owner Matt Froman in resolving the landmark's rollercoaster past while he's ready to bring it back to life.

The structure, which is situated on the corner of Southeast Foster Road and 67th Street, had been demolished for two decades.

The years of work to renovate and improve the property should be completed by May, allowing new tenants, all locally owned businesses, to occupy two levels. An adventure shop will be on the main floor. Above are five offices.

Froman and his partners, historic preservationists Rick Michaelson and Karen Karlsson, organized a 100th birthday party for the building, which historians call a commercial circle that drew new businesses to once-remote Mt. Scott-Arleta and Foster-Powell communities.

The Phoenix Pharmacy building was purchased in 1922 for pharmacist John Leach, who filled prescriptions and sold newfangled items, including Victrolas and Victor records, Brunswick phonographs, Kodak cameras, and Spalding sports equipment.

Leach transferred the property to the park system, which paid it for the Portland YMCA.

Froman, 34, recalls going to Allen Video, which also sold rotary phones. "A man in his 70s said he wanted to win a goldfish when the building was a waterbed store and aquarium," says Froman.

Robert "Buck" Froman, who has owned nearby Buck's Stove Palace since 1974, bought the Phoenix Pharmacy building in 1999, allowing for the establishment of a stove museum and a community arts facility.

Buck's vision was unrealised as a result of the need to maintain faulty electrical and plumbing systems and replace or replacement old walls, floors, and ceilings.

Matt Froman and his partner Karlsson of InterCity Properties acquired the property in 2018, which is best known for relocating the property to save it from the wrecking ball.

Janet Eastman | 503-294-4072

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