Phoenix Rising

The Phoenix Building is my favorite building in Portland. It once housed the pharmacy ran by John Leach. He and his wife, Lilla, also owned a piece of land by Johnson Creek, which they named Sleepy Hollow, more commonly known now as the Leach Botanical Garden. John Leach built the building in 1922 for his use. He dubbed it the Phoenix Building because according to legend the previous owner had burned it down but it was “resurrected” multiple times.

Here is a photo of the building back when John Leach ran it as his pharmacy.


To learn more about John and Willa Leach click here.

I’m not sure what became of the building in interceding years after its use as a pharmacy, but it is currently owned by Buck of Buck’s Stove Palace. Here is a little video about his relationship with the Phoenix.

Buck uses the building for storage of his overstock and collection. Here is a photo of it in its current state.


The Phoenix has lay fallow for many years. That is, until now! Buck is holding a blow-out sale this weekend to get rid of his extra stock. Included in his extra stock is the Phoenix itself. I can think of a million ways to use this gorgeous building. But I’m not really in the business of buying derelict commercial buildings in need of serious repair. I only wish I were. I am tempted to throw every guiding principle of reason out the window and buy this glorious building. Who knows what the future has in store for the Phoenix, I only can hope that it meets a good fate.

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