Tracing the Architectural Roots of Portland, Oregon. Courtesy of the Bosco-Milligan Foundation/Architectural Heritage Center
Created by boscomilligan on Nov 5, 2009
Last updated: 03/08/12 at 03:14 PM
Architect: Thompson Vaivoda and Associates The giant Fox Tower dwarfs the nearby Jackson Tower. Luckily for such a large building, it has clean lines and is interesting from a variety of angles.
Architects: Kohn Pederson Fox (New York)/BOORA Architects This courthouse looks different from every side thanks to its mishmash of forms topped by an overhanging roof. Oolite limestone was used on the façade for both rough and smooth textures.
Architect: ZGF Partnership OMSI moved into this reclaimed power plant from its former site in Washington Park. The turbine building and main smokestack were incorporated into the new structure. The colored fiberglass lobby with a pyramidal roof was added. The structure is one of simple geometric shapes. Photo by user SieBot from Wiki Commons
Architects: BOORA Architects The 1000 Broadway Building has a unique stepped shape topped by a dome on top. Its façade is rounded and colorful.
Architect: ELS (Berkeley) Pioneer Place manages to be small and tasteful for a mall. It has a pleasant glass rotunda and atrium, along with various public art. It was expanded in 2000.
Architect: ZGF Partnership While it is necessary for the Convention Center to be massive, it also manages to be functional. It is recognizable for its site near the river, two 260-foot green glass towers, and its rounded yellow brick exterior. Photo from oregoncc.org
Architect: ZGF Partnership This building has a granite and glass exterior in a plaid-ish pattern. It is recognizable for its skylight and neon green "hat" added in 1995.
Architects: Barton Myers, Broome, Oringdulph, O'Toole, Rudolph, and Associates Architects (BOORA Architects), and ELS Design Group The PCPA sits on the same block as the First Congregational Church, and near the Heathman and the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, but uses different brick than all three. The patterned brickwork does reference the other buildings. Cut areas in the roof allow the tower of the First Congregational Church to be seen from the east side of the city. The structure has a interesting shape and look thanks to intermittent glass-covered façades.
Architect: Willard Martin This downtown site has widely evolved since the Portland Hotel was built here in 1889. It became a parking lot after the destruction of the hotel in 1951. A worldwide design competition was held in 1981 which produced the present public square design. The design combines Greek agora and Roman forum elements (open-air and seating), while the use of brick and terra-cotta columns on the north and south sides reference the buildings surrounding the square and downtown. The Portland Hotel's wrought-iron gate sits at the northeast corner of the square, in its original location.
Architect: ZGF Partnership Style: Postmodern and Art Deco The KOIN Tower is a landmark among the buildings in downtown Portland simply for its different look and brick color. Its stepped tower and multifaced corners give the building a unique shape.
Architect: Hugh Stubbins and Associates (New York) The PacWest Center is also known as the PacWest Tower or the "Icecube Building." The building's banded glass and rounded corners give the building an icy look. Its low U-shaped wing on Fifth Avenue mirrors City Hall across the street.
Architect: Campbell, Yost and Grube
One Pacific Square is another entirely reflective building downtown. It is also recognizable for its hexagonal shape.
Architect: SOM with Pietro Belluschi as consultant
The U.S. Bancorp Tower, also known as Big Pink, is stylistically somewhere between concrete/glass/steel office buildings downtown and the Portland Building. There are no right angles in its exterior form, and the building changes color based on the light. One notable design feature is the "stepped" granite and glass, at the base and in glass respectively.
Architect: ZGF Partnership with Pietro Belluschi as consultant Style: Postmodern The various styles of windows and reflections are the result of the challenge of designing a secure building for inmates in a public area. The colonnade of the Justice Center ties in with its neighbor, City Hall. Two unique features of the building are the travertine columns in front and the large work of stained glass by Ed Carpenter above the main threshold.
Architect: Michael Graves (Princeton, New Jersey) Style: Postmodern The controversial Portland Building is considered to be the first large-scale postmodern structure in the U.S. Graves tried to produce a building sensitive to its context and unlike boring modern skyscrapers. Stylistic elements include small windows, columns on the sides, and keystones and columns at the top. The "ribbons" on the north and south sides were originally supposed to be drapes. The west side of the Portland Building is home to the large Portlandia sculpture.
Architect: SOM The Congress Center, like the Berg Building, is out of place for being so dark in such a light-colored downtown. Originally the Orbanco Headquarters Building and Security Pacific Building, it is covered in darkly tinted glass which provides interesting reflections of its surroundings.
Architect: Zimmer, Grasul and Frasca Partnership The World Trade Center was originally Portland General Electric's Willamette Center; it was given its present name in 1988. The three-building, three-block complex is connected by skywalks and built of smooth gray granite and glass. The design was based on Haussmann's plans for the Place de la Concorde (open plazas and wide boulevards).
Architects: Parson, Brinckerhoff, Quade and Douglas (New York)
Architects: DMJM (now AECOM) This reflective and curved building had a cameo as a futuristic building in a 1980 Ursula Le Guin PBS film.
Architect: Charles Luckman and Associates The Wells Fargo Tower was formerly the First National Bank Tower. The structure is dominated by vertical lines and has a flared base.
Architect: SOM Originally the Georgia Pacific Building, the Standard Insurance Center takes up a city block. It is recognizable on the street level by its plaza out front with the controversial sculpture "The Quest' by Count Alexander von Svoboda. A look up reveals the main design feature to be regular deep-set windows.
Architect: Oregon Department of Transportation Photo by user Cacophony from Wiki Commons
Architect: Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM) The Standard Insurance Building, also known as Standard Plaza, ushered in the new age of anonymous corporate structures. Its reinforced concrete core means there is no need for columns; the fireproof interior stairwell means there are no visually distracting exterior fire escapes.
Architects: Sverdup, Parcel (St. Louis)/Moffat, Taylor and Nichol This is third incarnation of the Morrison Bridge, the first one was a private toll bridge that opened in 1887 and was the first Willamette River bridge in Portland. Photo by user Cacophony from Wiki Commons
Architect: Van Evera Bailey This house, designed in the Northwest Regional Style, is both charming and structurally innovative. It is also well-adapted to its site and surroundings.
Architect: Pietro Belluschi
Style: Art Deco and International Style
This building is futuristic with its curved street-corner design and corner entrance. The building is not all curves - it sits atop a linear dark granite base and has many regular windows.
Architect: Pietro Belluschi
Zion Lutheran is another example of Belluschi's unconventional church archictectue. It is recognizable by its large roof overhang, deep porch and copper-covered spire.
Architect: Pietro Belluschi Style: International Style This building, originally the Equitable Building, foreshadowed future office building construction. It was both the first office block built in the International style and the first completely sealed and air-conditioned building of its size in the United States. It was also a trailblazer for the use of double-glazed windows which have a unique look.
Architect: Pietro Belluschi Style: Scandinavian/Japanese The congregation was not given the traditional church architecture they requested. Instead, the church is all brick, rectangular with a rounded north end. Also notable is the unique tower and Japanese-inspired gateway Photo scan from Spiritual Space: The Religious Architecture of Pietro Belluschi - credit M.L. Clausen, page 66
Architect: Pietro Belluschi The Oregonian Building has windows which foreshadow those of the Commonwealth Building. Its smooth surface is red granite and limestone.
Architect: Arthur Cramer Style: Art Deco This building is an example of the modern architecture which was built on the east side of the river. Its design is streamlined with horizontal lines. The glass bricks around the door provide decoration in line with the building's modern style.
Architect: Morris H. Whitehouse and Associates Style: Art Deco This church owes its intricate decorative brickwork to the Great Depression and the overwhelming need to create jobs. The building itself is an imposing ziggurat-like shape composed of abstract geometic forms.
Architect: Pietro Belluschi Style: Modernist The art museum was the first of Belluschi's buildings to achieve national recognition and it certainly exemplifies Belluschi's developing modern aesthetic. The brick building with Travertine trim is purposefully simple so as not to detract from the art inside. The Ayer Wing was finished in 1932; the Hirsch Wing followed in 1939.
Architects: Whitehouse and Church Style: Renaissance Revival This courthouse is subdued in its classical references compared to the earlier stately government buildings around town. The Art Deco doors and interior Art Deco lobby is in stylistic opposition to the exterior. The building was restored in 1984 by ZGF Partnership with Allen, McMath and Hawkins as consultants.
Architect: David B. Steinman and Holton Robinson (New York)
Architect: Richard Sundeleaf
Perhaps the most recognizable aspect of this building is the company's Diving Girl logo above the doors. However the brickwork and Corinthian columns are also notable.
Architects: Rapp and Rapp (Chicago) Style: Italian Renaissance This theater has had many names - originally the Portland Publix, it was also known as the Paramount Theater and the Portland Theater. It is one of the only remaining 1920s vaudeville/movie palaces in Portland, but now serves as one of the main performance spaces in the city. BOORA Architects oversaw the 1983-1984 restoration.
Architects: Doyle, Patterson and Beach
Pietro Belluschi finished the design after Charles Greene left town before construction was complete. The majority of the building is gray brick; wave crests mark where the brick begins and the section of gray rusticated terra-cotta ends.
Architects: Herman Brookman, with Whitehouse and Church, Harry Herzog, and John V. Bennes Style: Byzantine Temple Beth Israel is both an architectural and religious landmark in the city. The design was largely inspired by the main synagogue in Essen, Germany. A 100-foot high double dome is topped with terra-cotta shingles, while the building below is built of sandstone, brick and stone.
Architects: DeYong and Foald Style: Jacobean The Heathman Hotel sits next to the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall and is sober in contrast. It is the largest scale and most distinctive example of pre-Depression hotel design in the state. Recognizable for its patterned brickwork, there is little decoration other than quoining of window surrounds and building corners. The 1982-1984 renovation was handled by Carter Case.
Architect: Luther Lee Dougan The Studio Building is instantly recognizable for its ring of decorative busts of composers. Another notable feature is its mansard roof.
Architect: Herman Brookman Style: Art Deco This apartment building was originally the Commodore Hotel, the only Art Deco styled hotel in Portland. The building remains instantly recognizable for its ornamentation, including floral arrangements below the roofline and pelicans on the pillars. Photo by user Werewombat from Wiki Commons
Architect: Herman Brookman Style: English Manor/French Chateau This residence, which now sits on the Lewis and Clark campus, is built of carved wood and stone, and topped by a slate roof. The angled wings allow optimum viewing of the extensive garden from the house. A turret unites the wings, sitting where they meet.
Architect: Gustav Lindenthal (New York) Photo by user Cacophony from Wiki Commons
Architect: A.E. Doyle Style: Art Deco Art Deco was an unusual style for Doyle. His usual clean lines and even windows are present in the design, but the addition of twelve-story vertical concrete piers gives the building extra visual drama.
Architect: Hedrick and Kramers
Architect: A. E. Doyle Style: Italian Renaissance and Chicago School This building was Pietro Belluschi's first project with Doyle's firm. The light-colored brick façade is punctuated by rows of geometric and shallow windows. The brick contrasts nicely with the color of the overhanging red tile roof.