When I rode the first bus today, a 12, I decided to go across the Burnside Bridge and change to the next bus next to City Hall downtown. I longed to see downtown. It worked out very well. I took this photo of Portlandia in her perch at the Portland Building which is between SW 5th and SW 4th, right across the street to the north of City Hall. I really like this giant statue!
Here's a closeup that I took of Portlandia back in 2009, so that you can get an idea of just how wonderful she is. She's based on a figure in Portland's city seal--a woman, dressed in classical clothes, who welcomes traders into the port of the city. The sculpture is on the third floor landing of the Portland Building.
The sculpture is 36 feet tall but if Portlandia was magically to stand up, she would be over 50 feet tall; she weighs 6.5 tons. Portlandia is the second largest hammered copper statue in America (the largest is the Statue of Liberty). The statue was designed and sculpted by Washington, D.C., artist Raymond Kaskey and installed over the west entrance of the Portland Building in downtown Portland in 1985.
Kaskey retains the copyright on the statue’s image and so has avoided that work’s mass reproduction--no key chains, y'all.
Before being installed at the Portland Building, Portlandia was floated down the river on a barge and then transported through the city on a large truck. People lined up on the streets to see it. When it reached the building, the people crowded around the sculpture for a chance to touch it before it was installed out of reach.
This is me this morning, waiting for the first bus of the to-work commute. The Blue Diamond is in the background--you can see it through the bus shelter's wall. I've had this hat for years; in fact, I believe that I bought it in Jackson, Mississippi, before Mama and I moved here in June, 2006. I added those fabric roses with the plastic dew drops. Love them!