Historic Preservation Student Jordan Paing on Living in Portland Post-Myanmar

Photo of Jordan Paing in front of Portland Skyline

In a Willamette Week interview series about why people have moved to Portland in the past 18 months, Jordan Paing told the newspaper that he came to study historic preservation.

Two months after relocating, his home country of Myanmar underwent a coup. Paing, an Historic Preservation graduate student (class of 2022), grappled with the struggle back home as he adjusted to living in the U.S. and learning about the unhoused community in his new city and state, which has one of the largest houseless populations in the country.

“I am saddened by the poverty and the vulnerability of drug addiction and mental illness in the unhoused community,” Paing says.

Paing, who studied architecture in Yangon, the capital of Myanmar, came to the School of Architecture & Environment’s Historic Preservation program—the oldest program of its kind on the West Coast—to learn about the preservation of historic urban structures.

“I want to be able to take these skills back to Myanmar,” he told the paper. Paing is currently interning at the Nevada State Historic Preservation Office, and he was a 2020 Fulbright Scholar.

Read more about Paing’s experience in “Why Would Anyone Move to Portland Right Now?Five people who moved to here, during the last 18 months, tell us why they chose Portland.”