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.




I have photos of some other buildings that we saw on our walking tour with Peter.

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]

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]

Friday, June 26, 2009

How about a break from walking? Let's eat! And a "So You Think You Can Dance" idea.

Thursday on my afternoon work break, I walked out of the building, turned east, at the corner turned north, walked half a block and entered Organics to You, "a locally owned and operated Company, located in Portland Oregon, and has been in business, since 2001. Organics to You Delivers fresh, local, farm direct produce, along with other grocery items, directly to your home or office on a flexible weekly, every other week schedules." (From their Web site) I walked out with four ears of corn, a bunch of Swiss chard, three baby bok choys, two zucchini, two summer squash, and a ravenous hope for our supper. I walked in from the bus, ready to cook!

The zucchini, summer squash, and three Portland Farmers Market potatoes I had in the refrigerator.

Walla Walla Sweet Onions from Fred Meyer and a bit of the baby bok choy.

The baby bok choy and the Swiss chard

First I squirted some of my olive oil/canola oil combination into one of my two great big skillets and turned the electric burner to High. Then I put the chopped onion in to begin to sautee. Next I added the chopped bottoms of the baby bok choy--the white part, not the leaves. Next I added the rough-sliced potatoes. I stirred all of this enough so that oil glistened on each piece. Then I added the sliced squashes and some chopped Swiss chard stems. Oh, in between adding the potatoes and the squashes, I sprinkled some sea salt onto everything.

I let it all get hot, poured in some water, left the heat on high, and put my other great big skillet on top, upside down, as a lid.

I grabbed a handful of Swiss chard leaves, sort of wadded them up into a small mound, then sliced them across, rotated them 45 degrees and sliced across them again. When I finished with the chard, I did the same thing with the baby bok choy leaves. I took the skillet off the skillet and placed handful after handful of chopped greens atop the vegetables already in the skillet. I squirted some of the olive oil/canola oil combination here and there, sprinkled some sea salt, and balanced the skillet-as-lid back on the other skillet. I turned the heat down to four.

I let it cook a little while--I don't remember how long. (And I've forgotten to tell you that I had a slice of ham wrapped in foil, on a cookie sheet, heating at 200 degrees the whole time I was chopping and squirting and stirring.) Then I removed the upper skillet.

Here's my plate, complete with ham, the vegetable concoction and two slices of a tomato, from Fred Meyer. The plate was empty in short order. Much the same with Mama and her plate.

After I'd washed the dishes, I decided to call my sons, to tell them thanks. After all, if the two of them hadn't agreed to cook a huge meal for over 60 of our family and friends back in Jackson, Mississippi, in June, 2006, before we moved to Portland, then I would not have my two really big skillets that I now adore. I bought them so that the guys could use them that night--there was no reason for them to put what they call sautee pans in their suitcases when they flew to Jackson, not only to cook that very special meal, but to help us finish getting ready to move. Lamont flew back with Grandma. Leland drove the U-Haul with passengers--Duncan and me.

If those sweet sons of mine hadn't been so gracious and ready to sweat outdoors for almost an entire day, prepping and cooking and serving, then I would not have my really big cutting board which I also adore. It's one of those white, sort of plastic ones, easy to use, easy to clean.

I only got hold of Leland. He said, "Well, Mom, I'm glad you're enjoying them," and he chuckled. I'll let Lamont know soon.

By the way, if you watch "So You Think You Can Dance," do you agree with me that they ought to have each couple dance next week to a Michael Jackson son--in his honor? Oh, how I'd love to see that!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Tour Guide Perk: Downtown Walking Tour with Peter Chausse, Part 5

On our way to the South Park Blocks, Peter pointed out the newly renovated Ladd Carriage House. I took this photo as I walked across the street, thus I missed part of the LCH. I'll go back some time and get a better shot and look in the windows, of course.
Here's what Wikipedia has to say about this Portland jewel.

The Ladd Carriage House is a building in downtown Portland, Oregon. It is one of the few surviving pieces of the former grand estates which once existed in the downtown core. It was on the National Register of Historic Places from 1980 until 2008.[1][2]
The building served as an outbuilding to the William S. Ladd mansion, once located across Broadway on the block now occupied by the The Oregonian's headquarters.[3] Since its decommissioning as a private residential structure, it has been used as offices and retailing space.

House relocation and renovation
The future of the building was cast into doubt when the neighboring First Christian Church announced plans to redevelop the entire block. The congregation had bought the Ladd Carriage House in 1971, and sought to expand parking for its members. As part of the redevelopment, a condo tower, Ladd Tower, would be built above a parking garage. A demolition permit had been secured for the lot, but never used.[4] Nevertheless, this raised alarm bells in the preservationist community and a grass-roots campaign, the Friends of Ladd Carriage House, sprang into action to either save or move the old building. One proposal was to move the Carriage House to Lair Hill, but this was logistically complex (steep streets, crossing bridges, cutting Portland Streetcar lines).[5]

A compromise was agreed upon where the Ladd Carriage House would be moved temporarily while a new garage would be dug out, then the building would be moved back onto the lot. The plans for the condo tower were scaled back so that the tower's footprint only took up half the block, not three-quarters of it.

On June 16, 2007, after ground was broken on Ladd Tower, the Ladd Carriage House was moved to the parking lot owned by the Church of Christ, Scientist[5] at the corner of 10th and Columbia streets. This meant the house wouldn't need to cross the streetcar lines.[5] It was moved back to its original site on October 25, 2008.

Extensive renovations occurred after the Ladd Carriage House moved back to its original site. In April 2009 the house was repainted, going from shades of blue to shades of brown.[6]

Here's a quick shot I took as Sarah and I left the Portland Farmers Market on April 25. You can see part of the Ladd Tower behind its roof.

Here's just a bit about William S. Ladd from Wikipedia: William Sargent Ladd (October 10, 1826 – January 6, 1893) was an American politician and businessman in Oregon. He twice served as Portland, Oregon’s mayor in the 1850s. A native of Vermont, he was a prominent figure in the early development of Portland, and co-founded the first bank in the state in 1859. Ladd also built the first brick building in Portland and was a noted philanthropist. Part of his former estate, the Ladd Carriage House, was on the National Register of Historic Places until 2008.

There's more, so please keep coming along on the walk with us. I just noticed as I was working on this post that I completely left out an important fountain, so in the next few days we'll back track a bit before continuing on the South Park Blocks.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tour Guide Perk: Downtown Walking Tour with Peter Chausse, Part 4

Portland's City Hall provided another spot for Peter to stop and tell us some history. I promise there are photos, several of them that I took on Tuesday, even some of the Better Together Garden now at City Hall and the rose garden--scroll on, friends.

I can't remember what Peter said word for word, of course, but here's the gist of it, from Wikipedia:

Portland City Hall is the headquarters of city government of Portland, Oregon, United States. The four-story Italian Renaissance-style building houses the offices of the City Council, which consists of the mayor and four commissioners, and several other offices. City Hall is also home to the City Council chambers, located in the rotunda on the east side of the structure. Completed in 1895, the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places on November 21, 1974.[1] City Hall has gone through several renovations, with the most recent overhaul gutting the interior to upgrade it to modern seismic and safety standards. The original was built for $600,000, while the 1996 to 1998 renovation cost $29 million.

Located in downtown Portland, City Hall sits on an entire city block along Fourth and Fifth avenues at Madison and Jefferson Streets. To the south is the Wells Fargo Center, and to the north is the Portland Building. Terry Schrunk Plaza (named for a former mayor) is across Fourth Avenue to the east. In addition to more than 87,000 square feet (8,100 m2) of interior space, the exterior consists of landscaped grounds. The main entrance is located on Fourth Avenue, though for a time it was located on the Fifth Avenue side.

This photos shows the rotunda on the east side of the building.

And here's the rest of it from Wikipedia.


Late 19th century

In 1869, the Oregon Episcopal School was founded in downtown Portland at the current site of City Hall,[2] followed by St. Helens Hall.[3] In 1889, the Oregon Legislative Assembly approved a sale of $100,000 worth of bonds by the City of Portland to finance the construction of a new city hall.[4] The city hired Henry Hefty to design the building; Hefty's design was considered similar to the Kremlin.[4] Portland purchased the plot of land in 1891 for $100,000,[3] and construction began in 1892, but was halted after a short time.[5] After the foundation and basement of the building had been built, the city had already exceeded its $100,000 budget. The state took over the project and created a board composed of city businessman to finish the project.[4]

This board terminated Hefty and hired the architectural firm of Whidden & Lewis to design a new building.[4] Ion Lewis and William Whidden were originally from Boston.[4] The board also persuaded the state legislature to authorize an additional $500,000 in bonds to complete the project.[4] Whidden & Lewis designed a four-story structure in a neo-Renaissance style that included a clock tower.[4] Designed to be located in the center portion of the building, the tower was to rise five-stories above the rest of City Hall with a total height of 200 feet.[6] Due to costs, the clock tower was never built.[4] A domed cupola also designed by Whidden & Lewis was never built.[7] The original building design was praised for the details and symmetry.[4]

In 1893, construction at the site was re-started.[5] City Hall was built with un-reinforced masonry walls and slurry concrete floors to save on costs.[8] Construction on the new structure was finished in 1895 and the city government occupied the building.[5] Once completed, the building was one of the first large buildings in the Pacific Northwest to have electric wiring, have centralized heating, include public elevators, or be considered fire proof.[9] William S. Mason was the first Portland mayor in the new City Hall, with a total of 34 people working in the building at opening.[4][7] His successor, Sylvester Pennoyer, called the new building "expensive, unseemly and unhealthful."[5]

When built, the surrounding area was composed of dirt roads and private residences.[10] The Southern Pacific Railway's 1868 west side rail line ran down Fourth Avenue past City Hall and the county courthouse.[11] The city and county governments fought the railroad to remove the dirty and noisy steam locomotives from this route, succeeding in 1912. Southern Pacific's electric interurban line continued on the tracks until the 1930s.[11] In 2007, light rail lines were added on Fifth Avenue for the MAX Green Line, with trains scheduled to once again run past City Hall.[12]

In this photo, there's a man leading a walking tour. See him? I didn't get to take any photos the night of the actual walking tour. I think this large tree behind the lamp post is the north one mentioned in the first paragraph after 20th Century, below.

20th century

In 1902, two Port Orford cedar trees were planted on the east side of City Hall.[5] One tree was planted on the north side and the second tree on the south side of the building to reinforce the symmetrical aspects of the building. The south tree was replaced in 1999 due to poor health.[13] In 1910, the city added passenger elevators to the open stairwells.[5]

Until 1902 the Portland Public Library, which started as a reading room for sailors and then as a subscription library, was housed in the building.[14] In 1928, the city began one of a series of renovations on the building to increase floor space.[5] That year one of the two light wells were filled in, blocking off natural light to the lower floors. The city added a new elevator in 1931.[5] The next remodel started in 1933, and lasted through 1937.[5] During this construction the second light well was filled in for more space, and a penthouse apartment was built on top of the roof.[5]

In 1910, the city installed a large boulder on the southeast portion of the grounds.[15] The Oregon Railway and Navigation Company had found the 15,000 year old boulder in 1897 and moved it to Portland. The ten ton Wallula Stone was discovered in the Columbia River Gorge, and was covered with petroglyphs.[15] It was returned to the Umatilla tribe of Native Americans in Eastern Oregon in 1996.[16] The old elevators inside were replaced again in 1946, and in 1948 a runaway truck destroyed part of the stone railing on the Fifth Avenue side, which was then fixed.[5]

In the 1960s the mayor's office was refurbished, a new roof was installed, and new trees were planted on the grounds.[5] In 1964, the city remodeled the City Council chambers on the second and third floors.[5] Part of the work was to install new lighting to allow television broadcasts[17] from the chamber, while other work added drop tiles to the ceiling, hiding the domed roof.[5]

In the early morning hours of November 21, 1970, a dynamite fueled bomb exploded underneath the portico, doing $170,000 in damage.[5][18] Though no one was injured, windows were blown out, the Council Chamber (located above the blast) was damaged, all of the columns of the portico were damaged and replaced, and the Liberty Bell replica was a complete loss.[18] A new bell was purchased for $8,000 and later moved to Terry Schrunk Plaza.[18] No one was ever arrested or claimed responsibility for the bombing.[18]

Later in the decade, Portland upgraded City Hall by adding fire sprinklers and smoke detectors.[5] In 1973, the sandstone exterior was cleaned and sealed to prevent moisture from eroding the fragile stone.[5] It was later learned that this process was harmful as the silicon coating sealed the moisture inside the rock.[19] In 1974, City Hall was added to the National Register of Historic Places.[18] The following year the rooftop penthouse was converted into an employee break room that included an outdoor deck.[5] In 1978, the city constructed a wheelchair ramp to provide access to the handicapped.[5]

The 1980s saw additional renovations. The auditor's office and the mayor’s office were both renovated, though work on the mayor's office halted when funds were exhausted.[5] The city expanded the office of the city's attorney, and in 1982 the Portland Building was finished across the street.[5] This allowed the city to move many city offices into a single location.[5] Work was also completed on the exterior, while a new roof was finished.[5] In 1985, the building began a conversion from steam heating.[5]

In January 1995, the City Council voted to remove parking from the grounds of City Hall.[20] Previously, the landscaped yard surrounding the building had been paved to allow the city council members to park their vehicles on site.[20] That month also marked the 100th birthday of the structure.


Discussions about the need to upgrade and renovate City Hall began anew in 1988.[21] In 1994, proposals were made to remodel and update the structure to meet modern building codes, with an estimated cost of $16 million.[8] Work was to include replacing the concrete floors, structural upgrades, and restoring the original light corridors that penetrated all four floors of the building.[22] In March 1995, plans were made to renovate the then-100-year-old structure.[23] The estimated $22 million project was proposed due to the building failing to comply with the city codes for earthquakes and fires.[23]

Some preparatory work for the renovation began in November 1995.[24] On May 3, 1996, City Hall closed and offices relocated for the renovation project.[25] The offices were temporarily housed in the former State Office Building (now Fifth Avenue Building) nearby on Fifth Avenue.[26] Bing Sheldon served as the architect on the remodel.[27] Drake Construction served as the contractor for the project with SERA Architects as the design firm.[28]

On June 17, 1996, a 120-foot (37 m)-long boom portion of a construction crane crashed at the construction site, scraping the stone on the east side of the building, but not injuring anyone.[29] Due to the fragile sandstone exterior, the damage on the rotunda was not repaired.[30] In January 1997, construction crews finished the demolition portion of the project and finished the structural reinforcement part before they began the interior construction phase.[31]

Designers restored the light corridors inside the building during the remodel.[32] These two central light courts allowed more natural lighting into the interior of the building.[33] Additionally, the old Fourth Avenue entrance was restored, and the address was changed to 1221 S.W. Fourth Avenue.[34] Renovations also restored the original look of the City Council chamber, with council members now facing the windows.[30]

The original red and white marble from the floors was saved and reinstalled on top of the new concrete slab flooring.[35] New marble was used on the fourth floor. Other changes included the addition of central air conditioning, insulation of the roof and exterior walls, and the replacement of the old single-pane windows.[33] Public restrooms were added on the east side on each floor.[27] During construction, the usable floor space in the building was reduced from 50,370 square feet (4,680 m2) to 48,128 square feet (4,471.2 m2).[30] Restoration of the interior included work on the wrought-iron frame of the stairwell, uncovering the copper plating that decorated the walls in the stairwell, and work on the wrought-iron frame of the elevator shafts.[30] Additionally, nearly 40% of the building's structural steel was replaced, the plumbing was replaced, HVAC systems were added, concrete slabs replaced the concrete slurry floors, new electrical systems were installed, shear concrete walls were added, as were new security, fire, and life safety systems.[28]

On March 30, 1998, City Hall reopened to the public.[30] There were concerns over the cost of the project that increased from around $15 million to a final cost of nearly $30 million.[30] The city had approved $28.1 million before the project started.[36] Of the $29.3 million final cost of the project, construction costs totaled $19.9 million.[37] Of that amount, $17 million was to bring the building up to modern fire and safety standards.[30] Additional funds were spent on artwork, a temporary location for offices, and new furniture among other costs.[37] Reasons given for the additional costs varied from new problems uncovered during the remodel, a booming construction market at the time, and delays in starting the project.[36]

Financing of the renovations came from local bonds, with approximately $3 million per year coming from the general fund to pay the debt off.[36] Prior attempts at raising private funds for the project had failed.[36] The project was named as the top public project and was an honorable mention in the renovation category for 1998 by Northwest Construction magazine.[28]


The four-story building is in the Italian Renaissance style of architecture with a sandstone exterior.[38] The interior of City Hall covers 87,500 square feet (8,130 m2), with 48,128 square feet (4,471.2 m2) of usable space.[30] Measured along Fifth Avenue, it is 180 feet (55 m) wide.[3] Viewed from above the building is similar in shape to the letter E, with the rotunda as the middle protruding portion of the building. There are two wings that extend toward Fourth Avenue, one on the far north and the other on the far south, each only a single story in height where it is closest to Fourth.[3] The rotunda is three stories high, with the portico comprising the first floor.[3] Granite columns imported from Scotland are used to support the portico.[39] Portland City Council chambers occupy the two other floors inside of the rotunda, on the east side of the building.

On the roof of City Hall are four-foot tall ornamental urns, originally made of limestone.[7] During the last remodel they were replaced using lightweight material for pedestrian safety.[7] The building features dentil molding where the roof meets the walls, and the fourth floor has a balcony with paired Tuscan columns on the west side.[39] Additionally, the exterior features keystones over the windows on the first and second floors, plus a balustrade along the roof line.[39] Inside the High Renaissance building, the columns of the lobby are covered with a fake marble coating called Scagliola.[3] The lobby has marble flooring and oak woodwork.[6] In the atrium the walls are covered in a white tile that was re-discovered during the 1996 remodel.[7]

The Pettygrove Room on the second floor is named for Francis W. Pettygrove, the Portland founder who won the coin toss to name the city. The main stairway at City Hall has 77 steps, with iron handrails and tile steps.[40] The building sits 70 feet (21 m) above sea level.[41] Artwork in the building includes works by Norie Sato,[42] a mural by Michael Brophy in the Council Chamber,[43] a constantly changing work called the "Visual Chronicle of Portland" located on the main floor, and changing exhibits.[44]

The Governmental Relations office and the office of the city's attorney are on the fourth floor.[27] On the third floor are the mayor's office, the ceremonial Rose Room, a balcony for the Council chambers, Audit Services, and the city's affirmative action office.[27] The second floor contains the city council chambers, two conference rooms, and four commissioners' offices.[27] On the main floor is the lobby, the Office of Neighborhood Involvement, a coffee bar, an information desk, and offices for the city auditor, council clerk, and city treasurer.[27] The grounds of the building include a rose garden, trees, and other landscaping.[44]

Here are some photos that I took of the brand new vegetable garden at City Hall. Well, first some info about it, then the photos.

From Portland Online: The Portland Multnomah Food Policy Council asked Portland City Council to create a garden at City Hall to inspire Portland residents to plant their own gardens and an extra row for the hungry. The Commissioners passed the Better Together Garden resolution on Earth Day, April 22, 2009.

Elm Court Loaves and Fishes, five blocks from garden, will receive the harvested produce and fruit. The senior meal site serves 150 on-site and delivers an additional 250 meals every day.

The Better Together Garden includes 700 square feet of vegetables and is surrounded by columnar apples, a fig tree, blueberries, lingonberries, currants, and strawberries. The garden was installed over four days by community volunteers and all labor and materials were donated. The project was made possible by the generosity of the following businesses:

Design: Mary Bedard, Mary Bedard Landscape Architecture
Installation/Stonework: Dave Barmon and Mark Parisien, Fiddlehead Landscape Design & Installation
Stonework: John DiBona, John DiBona Stonework
Drop boxes, composting, gravel and rock: Wood Waste Management
Organic vegetable starts: Brentwood Park Nursery
Fruit trees, plants, and shrubs: Jim Gilbert, One Green World
Flagstone and boulders: Smith Rock and Heritage Rock
Vegetable starts, tools, peat moss: Peggy Acott & Alani Kelly, Portland Nursery
Soil Amendments: Naomi Montacre, Concentrates, Inc.
Rototilling: Dan Bravin, POP Farming
Soil and compost: City of Portland Bureau of Transportation
Wood chips, guidance and goodwill: Portland Parks and Recreation
Ongoing maintenance will be provided by OSU Extension Service Master Gardeners with help from community volunteers.

The first harvest was May 29. I took these photos on Tuesday, June 23.




Finally, here are a few photos of the rose garden that follows the low wall. At lunch on Tuesday their scent wafted on the breeze as I waited for a bus back to work--deliciously delicate smell.








Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tour Guide Perk: Downtown Walking Tour with Peter Chausse, Part 3

I'm so excited! I've found out the real name and sculptor of the onion ring! Here's the photo again.
Here's what I found out at Emporis Dot Com: One of Portland's most admired sculptures, Hilda Morris's bronze Ring of Time, graces the entryway on the west side of the building.

What building, you're wondering? The Standard Insurance Plaza, directly across the street from the Portland Building, where Portlandia kneels, occupies the block bordered on the north by SW Main St., the south by SW Madison St., the east by SW 5th Ave., and on the west by SW 6th Ave. From SW 6th, we walked over a wide, elevated sort of sidewalk, stretching from the regular sidewalk along the street to the building entrance--the Ring of Time stands against the building's wall at the end of the walkway. Whatever it's officially called--that walkway--I'm pretty sure that I remember correctly that Peter told us it was the first one of its kind in Portland. The building itself was finished in 1963. Below the sidewalk there's a sort of landscaped plaza and this fountain on the south side of the walkway--there's a matching fountain on the north side of it.
Peter said it's always coolly comfortable there, below street level. I imagine it will be busy later this week when we get into the 80s around here--folks can walk right into it from the sidewalk because there's an opening in a short wall that parallels the sidewalk, on the corner of SW 6th and Main--I can see it on Google Maps. I can't tell if there's another sidewalk level--can't move that little Google Man just right--makes me want to holler sometimes!

We entered the building and stopped just inside the door to look at what you see in this next photo, taken with available light. It's a weather indicator, as you can plainly read.
You can also read beneath the green circle-shaped light, "Green, no change." "White, colder." "Red, warmer." "Flashing, precipitation." "Steady, no precipitation." It's connected to what you see in this next photo, atop the 16-story, 222 foot building.

From Emporis: The building features a 50-foot weather beacon on top of the roof; white indicates falling temperatures, red indicates warming temperatures, green indicates steady temperatures, and blinking means it is raining or it is going to rain. The weather beacon is updated 3 times each day.
I only had time for the one photo, so I missed the light. Yep, it was blinking. The six-sided columnar-shaped beacon was blinking green, the light coming out of the nine-by-four grid of holes on each side. About the light's meaning rain, it wasn't raining then, and I don't think it rained on us during the walk. Since my brain has become a sieve as I've grown older, I cannot remember, doggone it!

Here's the rest about the Standard Plaza, from Emporis:
City's first building to place its parking garage below street level.
The original plans did not include sidewalks on Main and Madison.
Each level is column-free, as the building floors are held up by the elevator core and an outer frame.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Tour Guide Perk: Downtown Walking Tour with Peter Chausse, Redux

I had seen one of our stops with Peter, Terry Schrunk Plaza, many times. I'd never stood right in the center of it, though, which I did right after taking this photo. Here I've got Peter mid-word as he explained that the plaza uses the principles of the ancient Greek and Roman amphitheaters, how the sound reverberates in one's ears if one stands there and speaks. So I just had to do it. Delightful! That's how I describe it. Delightful! It certainly made sense--how else would those long gone audiences have been able to enjoy all of those plays?

From Waymarks Dot Com:
The Terry Schrunk Plaza is located across from Portland City Hall at the 1200 block of SW Third Avenue. Terry Schrunk was the Mayor of Portland from 1967 to 1973.

Also in the plaza, the Lake Tai Rock.


From Fodor's:
A terraced amphitheater of green lawn and brick, shaded by flowering cherry trees, the plaza is a popular lunch spot for the office crowd. Up by Southwest 4th Avenue there's a Suzhou stone, a valuable limestone boulder received as a sister-city gift from Suzhou, China.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Tour Guide Perk--Downtown Walking Tour with Peter Chausse

I totally appreciate the idea espoused by the Portland Center for the Performing Arts that learning more about Portland makes better tour guides for the PCPA. So when the chance to go on a walking tour of downtown Portland at 5 p.m. on a Thursday came up, I took an hour of vacation and signed right up! Y'all can just imagine how much I looked forward to the two-hour walk, right? My camera around my neck, I joined about 20 PCPA tour guides as we met our Walking Tours of Portland guide Peter Chausse on June 11 in the Antoinette Hatfield Hall rotunda.

Over the next few days, I'll share photos that I took and bits of information about the that Peter shared with us--it was right up my alley!

Remember the Pioneer Courthouse Square Mile Sign Post? One of the destination it points toward is Portlandia. (Click on the link to find out all about her.)

I took this photo from the second floor of a building across the street from the Portland Building.

I took this photo from the sidewalk right beneath Portlandia.

I took this photo looking back at Portlandia.

Here's one more photo that I took from the sidewalk beneath Portlandia. Peter had told us that he'd been taking 3rd graders on tours lately--he always tells them that Portlandia's dropped an onion ring out of her hand.

Here's the onion ring, a sculpture at a building one block west of Portlandia's home. I wish I could remember the name of the building and the sculpture, but I can't. One of these days I will go there and see if there's a plaque that I can photograph.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Seen on the streets of Portland, No. 13

Yep. It happened again. On the same day. A few parked cars and a driveway away.
Must have been some joker who found yesterday's ironing board and today's chair discarded beside a nearby trash bin.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Seen on the streets of Portland, No. 12

I go out to walk Duncan on May 27. We follow our usual path on our mostly deserted early morning sidewalk. Before crossing the street, I look to the left and the right--we've seen too many drivers going the wrong way on our one-way street. Whoa! What? What's that? An ironing board! On top of a white van! Huh?
We finish our walk and go back to the apartment. I put his food down for him, grab my camera and head right back outside to take photos.
What's the strangest thing you've ever seen atop a parked car?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Parterre, 25th Annual Festival of Flowers, on display now at Pioneer Courthouse Square, downtown Portland, Oregon

Photos taken on three different days, at different times, but you can see just how popular Pioneer Courthouse Square is for us Portlanders, and probably a good many visitors, too.





Made possible by Walker Macy, Landscape Architecture, Urban Design, Planning and Reinecker Nursery. Installation: June 1 – 4. Display: June 5 – 16. Flower Sale: Begins June 17 at 8am, Ends on June 20

From the Pioneer Courthouse Square Web site:
In conjunction with the Square’s 25th Anniversary, this year’s floral design, Parterre, was created by one of the original members of the design team for Pioneer Courthouse Square, Doug Macy of Walker Macy.

A traditional Parterre consists of a series of low hedges surrounding a bed of flowers or a knot garden. This formal and highly ornamental garden form transformed the gardens of France. It was first developed in 1660-1665 by Andre Le Notre at Vaux-Le-Vicompte near Melum, France and inspired the much more famous gardens of Versailles.

For this year’s design, Macy and his team will deconstruct the traditional edges of a Parterre and divide it into repetitive rows of flowers with hedges. With the combination of nearly 20,000 vegetables, shrubs, herbs and colorful annuals the Square will be transformed into an amazing display for all to enjoy.

$1.00 each or a dozen for $10.00
* Alyssum
* Impatiens
* Lobelia
* Petunias
* Marigolds
* Red & Blue Salvia
* Sunflowers



$2.00 each or a dozen for $20.00
* Millet
* Tomatoes

* Variegated Sage

$15.00 each

* 18” Boxwoods

$100.00 each
* White Adirondack Chairs w/ Ottoman