Going to Portland O.R. there any thing i should not miss?

I am going out to portland Oregon this weekend and i was wondering if the archinect community could help me out. I,m looking to put together an itinerary of architecturally significant sites. I have a few in mind already and i wanted to see if there were any others i was missing from my list.
this is what i have so far.

1. Graves' Portland Building (I want to see the horror for
myself and in person)
2.Pietro Belluschi's Central Lutheran Church as well as his
Equitable Building
3. Frank Lloyd Wright's Gordon House ( a Usonian house that
i know has been moved at least once)
4. Alvar Alto's Library at Mt. Angel

This list is not bad but i need more and what i think i am really looking for to help round out my sight seeing is some more contemporary work.

Can any one help me out?

Sep 22, 08 8:21 pm

do you have a car? mt angel is about 45 minutes south of portland.

check out the pearl district...

allied works projects:
wieden + kennedy (224 NW 13th Ave - @ nw everett) and the ann sacks house (2281 nw glisan - @ 23rd)

belmont lofts - se belmont & SE 35th ave

and this site has a few others worth checking out..

Sep 22, 08 9:12 pm

Yes, we're renting a car so the 45 minutes out to Mt. Angel is not a problem.

All those suggestions look interesting, i'll try and check them out, any thoughts on more public works?


Sep 22, 08 9:45 pm


Sep 23, 08 12:54 am

Yes, I've heard that as well, thanks

Sep 23, 08 1:07 am

While you are out at the Mt. Angel, SRG did a new building across the plaza from the Library. It is worth looking at. It doesn't seem like much from the outside, but if you can get in and look at the classrooms, that is certainly worth it. They worked really hard on natural daylighting and ventilation.

I am not sure there is really anything of note in Portland. Maybe its mass transit.. but then it is Portland, so the word mass has to be taken in context. Oh, Powell Books is worth going to. Has a great mix of new and used stuff.. and I think has a whole floor dedicated to architecture.

Sep 23, 08 5:11 pm

Do not miss Powell's City of Books in the Pearl District.

Do not miss Mount Angel Abbey, either. Well worth the drive.

Sep 23, 08 6:10 pm

ok, so i got all those
has anyone ventured out to the Marilyn Moyer Meditation Chapel at "the grotto"?.
it looks interesting and i'm sure it has a spectacular view but i really can't find that much info on it.
any thoughts?

thanks again for all the suggestions, I'll be sure to hit up powell too, that was on my list already i just didn't think to list it as an "architectural significant" visit.

Sep 23, 08 6:17 pm
liberty bell

Powell's rocks indeed.

While you're at the Portland Building, appreciate its positive qualities: it brought color to what had been a minimalist white/grey/black skyline. It has a lovely dialogue (albeit with its backside) with Justice Center across the park from it - ZGF's Justice Center is one of my favorite public buildings, and has public art scattered thorughout. And the Columbia sculpture (on Graves' bldg) is smashing.

Don't miss, a few blocks south, Halprin's linked urban park blocks: Forecourt Fountain, Lovejoy, etc. Link here. They are a fantastic example of 60s urban design, and just really, really fun to hang out in, especially Forecourt, which I love even though I nearly drowned in it at age 2.

Actually the parks of downtown are arguably more important than the buildings. The South and North Park Blocks, Waterfront Park (with the fountain all the kids play in, what's it called?), Pioneer Courthouse Square, of course! The way the green space is so integrated into the fabric and so utilized is a great lesson in urban vitality.

A trip to a Widmer bar is necessary, or one of the other local brewhouses.

Is the Church of Elvis still on Anker Street?

Man I've been away from Portland too long!

Sep 23, 08 6:24 pm
liberty bell

Oops, sorry, make that a McMenamin's pub, where I always drank Widmer beer...

If you do go to the Grotto (I've never been up in the chapel, only in the park, but yes I hear the views are spectacular), stop at Cameo Cafe on Sandy Blvd for breakfast on the way out. It's a funky American/Korean diner, with this great Korean "pancake" that rocks.

Sep 23, 08 6:31 pm

I just got back from Portland a couple weeks ago. There are more micro and craft breweries per capita there than any other city in the world. So once you're done looking at buildings for the day, I'd recommend checking out Deschutes (in the Pearl district) and Roots Organic on the other side of the river.

Sep 23, 08 6:56 pm

Doug Fir

Sep 23, 08 7:17 pm
liberty bell

Also, why hasn't anyone made a joke yet about visiting the Portland, Oregon Operating Room?

I'd recommend avoiding the Portland O.R. if you can!

Sep 23, 08 7:43 pm

Since you'll have a car, you might enjoy driving east along the Columbia River - it's an awesome waterway. Check out the various dams and fish ladders. Celio Park, nine miles east of The Dalles, is a famous area for windsurfing on the river.

Sep 23, 08 11:12 pm

I actually did visit the O.R. in OR! No wait, I went to the E.R. in OR . . . close enough!

We rented a car and drove the hour and a half over to the coast. Being from the southeastern coast, it was worth it, but maybe I'm just new to cold rocky coastlines. Word of warning: it is illegal to pump your own gas in the state of Oregon. Ask me how I know.

Frankly, I took as much of a break from thinking architecture as possible while I was there. But I was still an architect wandering around a new city, and you can't help it. I was impressed by how much historic fabric the city has preserved. Not historic in the "you should go to see this building" sense, but historic in that it was all there 100 years ago and they've had the common sense not to tear it down. I'll reserve judgement on the Pearl District "revitalization" for now, except to say again that Deschutes Brewery is worth spending happy hour at. And Henry's Pub. McMenamin's has about a dozen establishments around town, and they vary greatly in their character, but my lunch at Bagdad Theater was quite enjoyable.

Sep 23, 08 11:49 pm

if you are going to the dalles, there is a museum in maryhill.

quite an interesting collection of Rodin and chess sets.

and a brad cloepfil/allied works sculpture.

some of clopefil's thoughts on the sculpture:

...When I did the Maryhill Overlook, at the beginning of the process I went in the completely opposite direction - you should see how many over-designed things I did. Later in the project, when we were concerned about the budget - since the only the person that we could bid the job was a highway contractor, we decided to pursue a very clear idea. The surprising thing was that the one clear idea became very complex as it started to interact with the light - the weather and your physical location relative to the piece all became very important. The act of architecture itself did not have to do a lot to have such profound diversity of experience. Part of that was based on my encounters with the works of artists that I admired in the late seventies and part of it understanding what I could do. As a younger architect in Oregon, you did not have any budget. You were practically making up your own projects. In every project, we tried really hard to figure out if there was one clear idea that we would be able to express. We were trying to find an idea that we would be able to explore in the context of a project.

and a short write-up:
As an introduction to Cloepfil's architectural thinking, the Maryhill overlook project is an interesting artifact. The 150-foot structure is an essay on how to modulate space and choreograph light in a complex of lines, planes and apertures sprung from a single gesture. That is how Cloepfil works. His initial concept drawings are simple studies of formal integrity, the way volumes of space fit together and interact. The Maryhill overlook is basically an oversized model, not of a finished design but of its conceptual core. You can recognize the same impulse in the zigzagging line that forms the basis for a guesthouse Cloepfil designed for a client in Duchess County, N.Y. Whether that linear skeleton will flesh out into a comfortable house remains to be seen.

For Cloepfil as a young architect, the opportunity to build the Maryhill overlook was a milestone. But as a sculptural object in the landscape, the piece doesn't work. The thrust of its form opposes the natural movement of the land: It obstructs rather than enhances the drama of a viewpoint over the breathtaking Columbia River Gorge. Other issues have developed. The crisp geometry of its lines has begun in places to sag. And somebody has added fussy landscaping and wooden benches. Against its immediate surroundings, the piece looks like a bulky modernist sculpture plunked in Grandma's garden. "It's weathering badly," Cloepfil admits. "They need to tear it down."

Sep 24, 08 12:09 am

oops, or at least that's how he used to feel...

Q: The Maryhill Overlook (an architectural sculpture at the Maryhill Museum on the Columbia River) is your most published work, yet the concrete is sagging due to poor workmanship. How do you feel about it now?

A: I was just out there and I'm really happy with it. It was powerful.

Q: Even though it's sagging?

A: I think it still communicates really powerfully. Maryhill received money to fix it and chose not to. You let all that energy go about trying to will it to be and just let it exist and go back later and see if it still communicates.

Sep 24, 08 12:14 am

There's a nice bike trail, called the HISTORIC COLUMBIA RIVER HIGHWAY STATE TRAIL, that runs along the Columbia River from Hood River to the Dalles ... the trail typically runs at high elevation overlooking the Columbia River Gorge ... you can rent bikes in Hood River ... if you're in the area and have the time, this is a good way to spend half a day.

Columbia River Gorge Biking Guide

Sep 24, 08 9:13 am
Jah is my Co-pilot

It really is a must.
I recommend that bacon maple bar.
I think its on 3rd and Ash, or somewhere near there...
they have a website...
But really, no trip to PDX is complete without stopping by Voodoo.

Sep 24, 08 12:06 pm
mean prank riverbank

I like the Portland Japanese Garden (and test Rose Garden) and the Rhododendron Garden (though who knows what's blooming now). Staying at the Mark Spencer is always fun.

And if you feel like seeing an interesting town and the Spruce Goose you can head out to McMinnville. The Hotel Oregon is a great place to stay, or at least check out their rooftop bar.

Architecture is to be balanced with living.

Sep 24, 08 2:23 pm
liberty bell

Good point, sixer. The views of downtown from the Rose Garden are the best in the city, IMO. And the Japanese Garden is a really, really good one.

Sep 24, 08 3:27 pm

If you go to a McMenamins bar, you should drink McMenamins beer. Widmer is great, but you can get it anywhere.

Doug Fir is crap unless you're using it as the hotel bar; there's a million better joints in the city.

Sep 24, 08 3:36 pm

good call sixer -- the aviation museum where the Spruce Goose is located is awesome (the collection - not the building) ... if you like aviation and airplanes, it's worth a drive to see it. if you're going from downtown Portland, allow about 4-5 hours for travel and the museum itself.

Sep 24, 08 5:08 pm

Block this user

Are you sure you want to block this user and hide all related comments throughout the site?

  • ×Search in: