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Iron Fireman

Portland, OR

As building and fire code consultants, we take pride in rigorous research and analysis, and the Iron Fireman Collective project required this dedication, especially during COVID19 when many public resources were shut down. At Code Unlimited, we celebrate this building’s transition from a historic manufacturing site into a modern collective industrial space. During a time of economic uncertainty, this project illustrated how buildings hold our past, influence our future, and inspire resiliency through challenges.

Started in 1923 by Thomas Banfield, of the Banfield Expressway, Iron Fireman manufactured furnaces until the line transitioned into Boeing parts during World War II. Throughout the life of this facility and collecting millions in revenue, several notable figures influenced the business, such as Joseph Gerber and Duke Wieden, each with their own story to tell. SKB recently purchased the Iron Fireman building to renew the industrial spirit of this site by restoring it as an community maker space. Despite voluntary seismic upgrades, they were facing costly full-building seismic requirements just to maintain occupancy. We were able to step in and document the historical occupancy that supported their continued use of this space as intended.

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