Architecture of Portland, Oregon

Portland architecture includes a number of notable buildings, a wide range of styles, and a few notable pioneering architects.

The scale of many projects is relatively small, as a result of the relatively small size of downtown-Portland blocks (200 feet by 200 feet) and strict height restrictions enacted to protect views of nearby Mount Hood from Portland's West Hills. Although these restrictions limit project size, they contribute to Portland's reputation for thoughtful urban planning and livability.

Many older buildings have been preserved and re-used, including many glazed terra-cotta buildings .

Portland is a leader in sustainable architecture with one of the largest collections of LEED-accredited "green" buildings in the U. S., though the city is better-known for its focus on urban planning.


Well-known architect Pietro Belluschi began his career in Portland with the prolific firm of A.E. Doyle, leaving his imprint upon the city until the 1980s. Other notable architects and firms who have worked in Portland are Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM), Michael Graves, Cass Gilbert, Rapp and Rapp, Daniel Burnham & Co., Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF), Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects (ZGF) and Brad Cloepfil of Allied Works. Local architects that have had a large influence on Portland's architecture include Francis Marion Stokes and his father William R. Stokes (combined works include over 270 buildings from 1882 to the 1960s), the Victorian-era architect Warren H. Williams (architect of several surviving cast-iron buildings including the Blagen Block as well as the stick-gothic Old Church) and Whidden & Lewis (architects of Portland City Hall, the long demolished Portland Hotel, the Weinhard Brewery Complex, several office buildings on SW 3rd Ave. and numerous residences).


The tallest skyscrapers in Portland (as of August 2008) are:
#Wells Fargo Center (546 ft./166 m., completed 1972)
#US Bancorp Tower (536 ft./163 m., completed 1983)
#KOIN Center (509 ft./155 m., completed 1984)
#PacWest Center (418 ft./127 m., completed 1984)
#Fox Tower (376 ft., completed 2000)
#Standard Insurance Center (112 m., completed 1971)
#John Ross Tower (325 ft./99m., completed 2007)
#Congress Center (98 m., completed 1980)
#Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse (318 ft/97 m., completed 1997)
#ODS Tower (94 m., completed 1999)
#1000 Broadway (288 ft./88 m., completed 1991)

Under construction:

*Park Avenue West Tower (515 Feet, U/C March 2008)
*The Ardea (325 Feet, U/C 2007)
*The Alexan (230 Feet, U/C 2007)
*The Encore (175 Feet, U/C 2007)
*ZGF Tower
*Ladd Tower

Other notable buildings

Other notable buildings in Portland include:

*The Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, a restored historic theater (formerly The Paramount) and accompanying Heathman Hotel.
*The Benson Hotel, an elegant, restored historic hotel.
*Pietro Belluschi's Equitable Building was the first aluminum-clad building and the first to be completely sealed with an air-conditioned environment.
*Lloyd Center mall - The world's largest mall when it opened in the summer of 1960.
*The Meier & Frank Building- Meier & Frank's full-block, glazed terra-cotta flagship department store.
*Oregon Convention Center's twin spires are a prominent feature on the eastside skyline.
*The Pittock Mansion is a popular tourist attraction.
*The Portland Public Service Building by Michael Graves, the first major post-modern building constructed in the US.
*Rose Garden Arena, home of the Portland Trail Blazers.
*Union Station- An active Florentine-style train station with a 150 ft. clock tower.
*Pioneer Courthouse, the oldest federal building in the Pacific Northwest and the second-oldest west of the Mississippi River.
*One of the largest collections of Cast iron architecture in the United States, primarily in Old Town. A classic example of such construction is The Grand Stable & Carriage Building, built by the Oregon business pioneer Simeon Reed.


Portland has many bridges:

Bridges on the Willamette River

*Fremont Bridge (1973, Half-through tied arch)
*Marquam Bridge (1966, Through truss)
*Morrison Bridge (1958, Bascule draw)
*St. Johns Bridge (1931, Suspension)
*Burnside Bridge (1926, Bascule draw)
*Ross Island Bridge (1926, Cantilever truss)
*Sellwood Bridge (1925, Steel deck truss)
*Broadway Bridge (1913, Bascule truss)
*Steel Bridge (1912, cars/1925, trains; Steel through-truss, double-deck lift)
*Hawthorne Bridge (1910, Through truss, vertical lift)

Bridges on the Columbia River

*Glenn L. Jackson Memorial Bridge (1982, Segregated concrete box girder)
*Interstate Bridge (1917/1958, Through truss, vertical lift)

Other bridges

*Vista Bridge

ee also

* List of Registered Historic Places in Portland

External links

* [ diagram of Portland's buildings by height]
* [ Guide to Portland's Bridges]
* [ City of Portland's List of Historic Landmarks] (Excel spreadsheet)
* [ Architecture Foundation of Oregon - Look Around Guide to Portland Architecture]
* [ Bibliography of Portland Architecture and Architectural History]
* [ Portland Oregon Architecture: An Architectural Map]

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