Rehousing History: Finding a New Home for Our 1885 Chandler & Price Letterpress

We’re only a few months into 2018, but Ooligan Press has already seen a lot of changes this year. We’ve released our long-anticipated hiking guide (50 Hikes is available in stores and online now!), created a new project team, and much more. However, one of our most significant changes was kept behind the scenes. During the break between fall and winter term, we moved offices.

Ooligan Press has always lived in Portland State University’s Neuberger Hall, but we’ve been anticipating a move ever since the university began announcing building remodels. Despite the building’s many quirks and charms, Neuberger was due for a refresh and closed its doors in early December. When the dust finally settles and the doors reopen, Ooligan will move into a new, beautiful office designed to fit our needs—but this upgrade required some creative maneuvering to keep things running in the meantime. Last term, boxes were meticulously packed and labeled for either our temporary office or deep storage. Some supplies even lived in managers’ cars during the winter break. There was one item, however, that needed special attention: our 1885 Chandler & Price letterpress.

This stunning piece of publishing history was acquired from the PSU art department over ten years ago. It was set for removal from campus, but Ooligan saved and restored it to working condition. Over the years, many students have taken the opportunity to experiment with printing and created collateral for titles and events. Unfortunately, our temporary office doesn’t offer us enough space to continue housing the press. We were faced with two options: move it into deep storage to gather dust during the remodel or find it a new home where it could be cherished.

Luckily, we found a lovely new home for the press! The c3:initiative is a non-profit operating organization that serves as a platform for critical inquiry and supports artists in creating work focusing on social introspection. The press and its accompanying type collection has been sent on a “permanent loan” to c3:initiative’s sister campus, Camp Colton, located in Colton, Oregon.

This new home ensures that the press will be continue to be accessible for PSU students and opens it up to rural and artist communities as well. According to director Shir Ly Grisanti, “The press and type collection look so beautiful in their new home, and we can hardly wait to get printing!”

We are excited to see such a lovely opportunity for creativity come from our move between offices. If you stop by to visit the press in its new home, let us know!