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Saturday 01.27.07

« Do It | Main | Lecture 1, 2, 3 »

Portland's Aerial Tram Opens - Sci-fi transpo in real life

Portland's aerial tram, the most significant architectural statement in Portland since Graves' PoMo Portland Building opens to the public today. It absolutely redefines the way Portland looks at itself, both literally and in a philosophical sense. The tram is practical art and PORT takes you there. Guided by City of Portland's Transportation Project Manager, Art Pearce, and Project Assistant, Liz Mahon...

- Photography by Sarah Henderson -

Dramatic tram in air_0775sm.jpg

Top pov of tram in air_0787sm.jpg

Top crowd_0818sm.jpg

Top deck w mt view_0740sm.jpg

Top tram cable wheels_0799sm.jpg

Underbelly of top frontal_0772.jpg

Wide view of top & ctr_0761sm.jpg

Top bridge_0755sm.jpg

Top bridge to tram_0778sm.jpg

Underbelly of top tram via legs_0769sm.jpg

Top backside_0770sm.jpg

Top Center view to bridge_0750sm.jpg

Inside tram pov pp_0821.jpg

Bottom tram docked pp_0719sm.jpg

Bottom - PM Art Pearce_0705sm.jpg

Cable wheel below_0708sm.jpg

Wheels under_0711sm.jpg

Top tram w view_0739sm.jpg

Top tram struct legs and bridge_0764sm.jpg

Inside-outside pov in tram_0824sm.jpg

Top tram dock w view_0811sm.jpg

Top view tram w pp_0744sm.jpg

Though incredibly controversial it has won over most that have tried it. Also, check out PORT's a full review of Portland's new Aerial Tram.

Posted by Sarah Henderson on January 27, 2007 at 12:10 | Comments (5)


My girlfriend is really confused about why I am so excited about the tram. And no matter how many times I tell her how important of a symbol this is for Portland, she remains indifferent. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

Posted by: Calvin Ross Carl [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 28, 2007 12:38 AM

has no one noticed the poor color design of this tram.
as you drive down barbur its like a you are looking directly into the sun and your eyes are being burned out of their sockets.
i propose that someone hit the tram with flat black paint.

Posted by: ryan wpaulsen [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 28, 2007 10:42 AM

The tram will change how people travel from one tiny place in Portland to another tiny place in Portland. It is going to have no effect on how most people get around. Sure, it's cool, and it might make Portland look more interesting to someone who doesn't live here, and it'll cause some rear-end accidents at the I-5 on-ramp from John's Landing, but how functional is it really? Here's something that would change how people get around: MAX from downtown to Lake O transit center. The tram doesn't even come close to the impact that MAX line would have. And I bet it would be cheaper and less controversial.

Posted by: graves [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 28, 2007 03:30 PM

Nothing about the colors are too exciting. Just clean steel. I actually don't mind it, but Ryan if you decide to somehow get a squad to paint the tram towers all black. Then I will be standing beside you. Worth spending a night in jail? Maybe not, but it would still be fantastic.

Posted by: Calvin Ross Carl [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 28, 2007 04:50 PM

Love the photos! Glad to hear positive comments since most of you aren't that crazy about it.

I have to say shame on you to the people who want to paint it black. Perhaps you need to drive by it during sunrise or sunset and see the reflections. Or realize that it is steel b/c on the cloudy, Portland like days it just blends into the sky. And that is the point...regardless, I don't think we need to change it--we should be thankful that we have something unique to add to the urban fabric of our city.

Honestly, I had to laugh at the connection to Lake O. While obviously the suburbs are part of southwest traffic, the 15 year plan for the southwaterfront district will make the tram more valuable than we can all even know.

I agree with Calvin, this is going to be fantastic for our city. The only other monumental piece of architecture from an actual renowned architect in this town is the Graves building that was built in the 80's and, well, looks like it. Besides the Fox Tower, there havent been many developments of monumental proportion worthy of note and definately none that have changed or created a skyline worthy of a postcard.

I love to see all this buzz around the tram!

Posted by: constructdesign [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 1, 2007 01:21 PM

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