Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Day 3: Climbing towards the sky

Downtown Portland: Corner of Broadway and Main

Looking out of the third floor of the Portland Center for Performing Arts building at the corner of Broadway and Main, it struck me how history offered a triad.

The "Portland" sign is attached to the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall - listed in the US registry of Historical Places. If you recognize the design of the sign, it is because it is the Paramount design. The building was orginally the "Portland Theatre" - constructed in the 1920s. Puchased by Paramount in the 1930s, this sign was erected. When the city bought the theatre back from Paramount in the 1980s, the sign reportedly (by my Portland walking tour guide - though I can't find reports of this elsewhere) plumeted the ground during refurbishing efforts and shattered. As the public was well attached to this sign, the city requested permission from Paramount to design their own sign with the same design. After receiving permission, this sign was created to reflect the original theatre name. Today, it is still a functioning concert hall, and part of the Portland Center for Performing Arts. For more information on this building and sign CLICK HERE.

The Heathman Hotel is the next step up towards the sky - and and equally as historic building. This luxurious hotel was also constructed in the late 1920s. It is one of the only remaining hotels left in Portland from that time period and continues to offer elegance and easy access to the city and the arts district. CLICK HERE to learn more history about this hotel.

The third and tallest, building offers a modern sleek juxtaposition to the two other historical buildings in it's shadow. This modern era skyscraper houses the West Coast bank with retailers on the bottom floor. Well, it IS downtown Portland, after all. And the year is 2012. Still, I find this to be an interesting corner.

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