Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Serendipitous, the connection between this van and one of my favorite sites/sights in downtown Portland, the Bank of California building! Plus a new friend!


Before our adventure became interrupted, when Lamont, Leland and I were heading in the opposite direction of hundreds of participants in the Hood to Coast Relay and their support vehicles, naturally I had to take photos from the windows of the Volvo station wagon. As I decided which other photos to share with you, I looked closely at this one, to see what it said on the side of the van. Lo and behold! 3 Kings Environmental Inc. and a Washington state telephone number. I couldn't believe my eyes!

Continue reading and looking to find out why. I've copied and pasted my post from March 3, 2010, about the other end of this serendipitous connection.

On the corner of SW 6th and SW Stark, stands another of my favorite downtown Portland buildings. I'm partial to Portland's prolific architect of yesteryear, A. E. Doyle.


Huge windows. Tiny pedestrians, in relation to the huge windows. Notice the public art? It's part of the Transit Mall's collection.


Notice the Benson bubbler, to the right between the public art and the tree?


The Z on the sign on the pole marks the transit stop near that corner.


You'll see this same intricate light fixture on a different Doyle building.

From Wikipedia, but I need to add that the sign on the building is not for The Bidwell & Company. It says Three Kings. I couldn't find anything about Three Kings, Portland, at that address. Anyone know anything?

The Bank of California Building or also The Bidwell & Company Building, is a historic two-story building in downtown Portland, Oregon. Since 1978, it has been on the National Register of Historic Places. The building is currently vacant.

This location was the site of the first Portland Central Library, which moved to its present site in the early 1920s. The Bank of California saw the lot as fit to build a Portland branch and hired local notable architect A.E. Doyle to design it. Doyle's chief designer Charles K. Green had traveled abroad to study Greco-roman architectural forms in the 1910s. The result of his research resulted in three Italianate buildings, of which the Bank of California Building was the first. The others were the Chicago/Italianate Pacific Building and the Public Service Building, an early skyscraper. The exterior lights on the Public Services Building are of the same design of those on the Bank of California Building.

The Bank of California remained at this site for 50 years until moving a couple of blocks west to the Union Bank of California Tower. The building underwent an intensive renovation in 2000.


Here you can see Three Kings on the plaque on the wall, above the ornate entrance doors. I took this photo on August 23, 2012, when a new friend had come home to Portland, to visit his mother and to get a look at this building. You see, his dad once worked inside for a maritime insurance company, Durham and Bates. My new friend had discovered the March 2010 post when he was on the Internet, wondering about what had happened with the building for which he had fond memories of going to with his father, seeing the many models of ships on display; he wondered what had happened to them, too.

That's how we met, through our mutual appreciation for its outstanding design. He knew that 3 Kings was an environmental company, something I didn't know. I found out from a very helpful someone at Durham and Bates that many of the ship models now are on display at their current location, not too many blocks from this building. One more lo and behold. Their new location is another A. E. Doyle building! More about that and the ship models in a post, soon, I promise.


Jim Klenke said...

neat story to the building. the truck looks like it has a roller coaster on top.

i saw on the portland marathon website, they have GRIMM tshirts for the race. How cool is that.

Randy said...

Love that architecture and the bubbler.


That is a gorgeous building! Nice to see the link-up b/w your two posts & the story behind it.

Ken Mac said...

Pink tiara? Gorgeous building..

Colin Riseley said...

Hahaha... unbelievable. I had such a fun time poking about in Portland with you, Lynette. Ours is a great example of the theory of six degrees of separation as described in this Wiki article:

I look forward to our next meeting. I will be coming back.

Lynette said...

Hey, Colin! I had a blast, too! Love the six degrees of separation thing.

Years ago when I was still in my hometown of Jackson, Mississippi, I worked part time for the Jackson Free Press, an alternative newsweekly. At some point the editor was really coming up with such connections, so I sat down to figure out a good one for her. I think I remember it. My dog Duncan, me, my British friend Richard, his British wife Isobel, her former boss who got an OBE from Queen Elizabeth, Queen Elizabeth. Yep, my dog Duncan was six degrees of separation from the Queen! The editor loved that one!