Saturday, June 27, 2009

Tour Guide Perk: Downtown Walking Tour with Peter Chausse, Part 6

Photos of the Ira Keller Fountain, which we toured with Peter. I took them in August, 2007.
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I have photos of some other buildings that we saw on our walking tour with Peter.

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The Wells Fargo Center is actually the tallest building in Portland. For a while it was thought that the Big Pink was tallest. Peter said a mistake was made in the measurements. The Wells Fargo is 546 ft., the Big Pink--officially titled the US Bancorp Tower--is 536 ft. From Wikipedia about the Wells Fargo Center: The Wells Fargo Center is an office building located in Portland, Oregon, United States. The tower rises 546 feet (166.4 m) with 40 floors of office space[1] and three levels of parking below the surface.[2] When the structure was completed in 1972, the center became the tallest building in the State of Oregon.

The building and a connected four-story building were designed by Charles Luckman and Associates. It was dedicated on May 25, 1972.[3] Originally known as the First National Center, the name was changed to the First Interstate Tower in 1981. The current name was adopted after Wells Fargo purchased First Interstate Bancorp in 1996.[4] Upon opening in 1972, the Wells Fargo Center dwarfed all other existing high-rise developments in downtown Portland. Public outcry over the tower's scale and the potential of new development to block views of Mount Hood led to height restrictions on all new development.

The public areas went under extensive renovation in 2001 including room for more retail space. Renovations were completed in 2002 at a cost of $35 million. Focused on the lobby area, it included the addition of a display on the bank's history.[5] The center had been the headquarters of Willamette Industries until 2003, when that company was bought by Weyerhaeuser.[6]

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Up above the fountain and the trees, you can see a portion of the building nicknamed the Norelco, Peter explained. It's the Portland Plaza. Notice that rounded portion on the left? There are three of them, so it looks a bit like the electric razor from above. From Wikipedia: The Portland Plaza is a condominium skyscraper in downtown Portland, Oregon, United States. It stands at a height of 272 feet/83 meters, and contains 25 floors.The Portland Plaza was designed by the firm of DMJM and was completed in 1973. It has been nicknamed "The Norelco Building" by Portlanders, as the silver and black facade and rounded triangular tower is reminiscent of an electric razor.[1]

Enjoying a location almost directly west of the Keller Auditorium and the Ira Keller Fountain, Portland Plaza creates a late mid-20th century modernist feel to the area. Along with the Keller Fountain, the building has been featured on an album cover of the band Shades of Christ[2], and appeared as a futuristic building in the PBS film version of Ursula K. LeGuin's The Lathe of Heaven.[3]

3 comments:

Hilda said...

What a fabulous fountain! I love it!

Warren said...

I really like your pictures of the Keller fountain! I'm going to have to seek that fountain out next time I make it up to the Portland area. Very cool design.

Julie said...

Thanks for your nice picture..

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Julie
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