Portland art blog + news + exhibition reviews + galleries + contemporary northwest art

recent entries

Early September Links
Labor Day Weekend Picks
Museumy Links
Wendy Given at Vernissage
Mid August Links
Grace Kook-Anderson in Conversation
Portland Art Adventures
Early August Art News
August must see picks
End of July News
Alia Ali's Borderland at Bluesky
Mid Summer Reads

recent comments

Double J
Double J
Storm Tharp



Book Review
Calls for Artists
Design Review
Openings & Events
About PORT

regular contributors


Tori Abernathy
Amy Bernstein
Katherine Bovee
Emily Cappa
Patrick Collier
Arcy Douglass
Megan Driscoll
Jesse Hayward
Sarah Henderson
Jeff Jahn
Kelly Kutchko
Drew Lenihan
Victor Maldonado
Christopher Moon
Jascha Owens
Alex Rauch
Gary Wiseman



Guest Contributors
Past Contributors
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005

contact us


Contact us






powered by


Movable Type 3.16

This site is licensed under a


Creative Commons License

Wednesday 10.25.06

« Welcoming PAM's new chief | Main | PICA Artist in Residence to Lecture Tonight »

Favorite Buildings in Portland?

The Portland Tribune suddenly has a lot of stories on architecture and the quality of buildings in town this week. Strange, yes we have Graves' Portland Building but generally the city is more interested in people, books, food, music, art and complaining about the lack of architecture rather than architectural excellence itself. Still there has been a shift in the last 2 years.

One sign of the change in attitude is this Trib piece on local architects picking their favorite buildings in Portland (yes it's a quiet bunch of buildings, wait till the aerial tram is done for big a paradigm shift in the outward profile of architecture in Portland). Not surprisingly, the Sacks house on NW Glisan by Brad Cloepfil took top honors. What would PORT's readers pick? My pick is the Adidas campus by BOORA or the Fox Tower (the lobby is really superb) by Thompson Vaivoda and Associates... maybe the train station even. At the Organism's Gertrude salon last night many thought the Union Bank of California Tower deserved the nod, I agree it's an under-recognized gem. Let us know what your pick; Belmont Lofts, PNCA's interior, the Doug Fir, the St. Johns Theater & Pub? The aerial tram isn't completed yet and yes I wish the giant World's Fair log cabin (Oregon State Forestry Center 1905) still existed.

Then the Trib had this piece on the Frank Gehry that never happened. Good to remind people of that and overall it seems like Portlander's are demanding more quality from the architecture. I've been working on a series of atypical architectural photographs for the last 5 years so I have my own selfish reasons for this, 9/10ths of the photos are of buildings outside of Portland. Design-wise the city does seem to be wide awake now, let's see what comes of it in terms of buildings.

Also worth a look, the Portland Architecture blog had this nice post on a couple of interesting new fire stations a while back.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on October 25, 2006 at 11:32 | Comments (10)


The Bank of California and the OCAC campus are both great.
The OCAC campus has more to do with an idea reflecting an era that I love - than it does a particular structure. Whereas, the Bank of California is just gorgeous. Down to the logo, the trees and the shadows on the wall.

Posted by: Storm Tharp [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 25, 2006 12:14 PM

as far as i know, nobody comes to my neck of the woods for great architecture but some great homes lie in the vista brook neighborhood in beaverton-my neighborhood's neighbor. they're eichler knock-offs by robert rummer.

also, the 3 meeting halls at the the world forestry center in washington park are pretty nice. and their logo kicks.

Posted by: melia [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 25, 2006 01:21 PM

The Sacks house is truly beautiful. I saw it during the Street of Eams house tour, earlier this year. The inside is designed, and even decorated beautifully, and features tons of original art from local artists. They have a Mike Russo figure study hanging above their bathroom toilet. I found this humorous.

Posted by: Calvin Carl [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 25, 2006 01:45 PM

How about Cloepfil's Wieden+Kennedy headquarters, with BlueHour etc.?

Posted by: brett [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 25, 2006 01:45 PM

W+K, and also BlueHour are great as well. It's a real shame Portland doesn't have building with better exteriors. All the great designed buildings, have ugly warehouse exteriors.

Posted by: Calvin Carl [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 25, 2006 01:48 PM

The exterior of the Skylab building on 12th X Alder is handsome.

Posted by: Storm Tharp [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 25, 2006 02:51 PM

You are right Storm, we have a low keyalmost "swiss" thing going on... but the tram might change that. (maybe it will make up for OHSU not implementing Richard Meier's scrim. I'm a big fan o Zaha Hadid's ski jump at Innsbruck, architecture can stand out and still be tasteful. I think Porland is right to avoid stuntcitecture though, we arent on the imperial city model.

That said some of the new buildings in the Pearl and South Waterfront are promising. Meigs' Lumber Room is really nice and it isn't even done yet.

Posted by: Double J [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 25, 2006 03:09 PM

If you're talking about the Union Bank of California on Broadway, ditto. Amazing. Don't bother to go inside. Do go into the US Bank Building on Broadway.

Posted by: jerseyjoe [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 25, 2006 04:19 PM

An "artsy" film to watch: Marie Antoinette. Sofia Coppola has made a very fine looking film. Anyone who wants to see the heights of achievement in art direction and costuming should take this for a spin. The credits list a large company of very skilled French artisans outputing work that is truly elegant to view. The setting is a period of European history where very refined taste ruled and everything was designed to overwhelm the senses.And in the movie, image after image allows you to experience this luxury.

Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on what you expected to see on the screen, there is no real story told here. The film is a long series of pretty pictures of Kirsten Dunst, Versailles, lap dogs, ladies-in-waiting, and so on. Sofia C. can't even get her facts straight. Marie Antoinette was only 14 when she married the Dauphin. Her real story should be about her growing up and becoming an adult. But Sofia keeps Marie one dimensional And she never ages into the movie's time frame. Plus the Marie character isn't seriously given any other persons to play off of. Her husband king has only about twenty lines to speak in the whole film.

So in a strange piece of synchronicity, Sofia ends up doing the stereotype Marie on us. Instead of producing a film with some intention, Coppola has given us only the outer frills and fancies. Let the movie audience eat cake and watch music videos. The film is a shocking waste of production money. But then Sofia is not a very mature filmmaker; Daddy Francis has always covered her ass. Anyway, back to my original point: this is only a great film for artists to look at.

Posted by: fantomas [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 25, 2006 08:25 PM

Yup, we are talking about the one on broadway... a great but understated building. I even like the inside, very late 60's early 70's corporae design but its so tasteuly done with nice bits of sculptureand pottery in the soaring wood paneled room.

In fact, I have to go over there in a day or so.

Im really fond of a couple of other Portland buildings including the "witches cabin" in Forest Park and the chapel at Lewis and Clark College... which reminds me of a lot of old Norwegian structures.

Posted by: Double J [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 26, 2006 09:47 AM

Post a comment

Thanks for signing in, . Now you can comment. (sign out)

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

Remember me?

s p o n s o r s
Site Design: Jennifer Armbrust   •   Site Development: Philippe Blanc & Katherine Bovee