Union Way (photo by Brian Libby)
BY BRIAN LIBBY
Walking tour: Yamhill Historic District and Beyond
What is today the Yamhill National Historic District was separated from the rest of Old Town when the new Morrison Bridge was constructed in the 1950s. This Architectural Heritage Center tour contains an array of 19th century cast-iron buildings, as well as some of the most notable historic commercial architecture in Portland. Attendees will also learn about how this one-time market area was home to the city’s early Chinese immigrant community. Tour begins outside the World Trade Center at SW 2nd Avenue and Salmon Street. 10AM Saturday, August 1. $20 ($12 for AHC members).
Picnic at the Shire
Join the Yeon Center and its executive director, Randy Gragg, for a tour of The Shire, a stunning landscape in the Columbia Gorge designed by architect and conservationist, John Yeon. The 75-acre private reserve was sculpted by Yeon in the 1960s with groomed paths and captured views of Multnomah Falls. A captivating outdoor experience, The Shire draws on the great tradition of picturesque landscapes while anticipating 1970s-era earthworks. This storied spot was the place where the Friends of the Columbia Gorge was founded and capped Yeon’s six decades of activism preserving important Oregon landscapes. The tour and event, which includes food from acclaimed chef John Toboada, is a fundraiser for the Yeon Center's many events throughout the year. 3:30PM Sunday, August 2. $150.
Walking tour: Skidmore-Old Town Historic District
Learn about some of the oldest buildings in the city and the people who built them in this Architectural Heritage Center tour of Portland’s only National Historic Landmark District. The area also contains the highest concentration of cast-iron fronted buildings on the west coast and much of that iron was even produced locally. Tour meets at Skidmore Fountain, SW First Avenue and Ankeny Street. 6PM Wednesday, August 5 and 6PM Wednesday, August 12. $20 ($12 for AHC members).
Evolution of Enclosure: The Anatomy of Building Performance
We now have the science and techniques to build for comfort, health, and revolutionary efficiency. At the center of it all is the advanced building envelope. “Evolution of Enclosure: The Anatomy of Building Performance,” a monthlong exhibit opening with this First Thursday party, draws on built projects in Portland and Seattle designed by four leading architecture firms to explore the building science that guides high performance assemblies. Four full-scale wall assembly cross sections, a suite of building science of illustrations, project photography, and an interactive set of high performance building animations will show how buildings can go from net consumers of energy to net producers: part of the climate solution. AIA/Portland Center For Architecture, 403 NW 11th Avenue. 6PM Thursday, August 6. Free.
Walking tour: Pioneers to Postmodern - Downtown
Taking a whirlwind tour of the entire range of Portland's architectural history via this downtown Architectural Heritage Center tour, attendees will learn about the first wooden structures near the river as well as the elaborate cast iron, stone and terra cotta decorated buildings of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. From there one will be transported into the modern age and the sleek designs of Pietro Belluschi and the postmodernism of Michael Graves. Tour meets at southwest corner of SW Pine Street and Naito Parkway. 6PM Friday, August 6. $20 ($12 for AHC members).
Walking tour: Kenton neighborhood
In the early 20th century, before it was known best for its Paul Bunyan statue, Kenton was the heart of Portland’s meat-packing industry and home to the largest livestock exchange on the West Coast. Swift & Company, through various subsidiaries, platted, developed, and heavily influenced the industrial, commercial and residential growth of Kenton. This Architectural Heritage Center tour shows how a dominant employer influenced the housing stock of management and labor in a neighborhood that possessed many elements of a company town. Tour meets at Paul Bunyan statue, at North Denver Avenue and North Interstate Avenue. 10AM Saturday, August 8. $20 ($12 for AHC members).
Walking tour: Midtown and the West End
Explore downtown between the South Park Blocks and I-405, an area filled with iconic buildings as well as numerous lesser-known architectural gems. Attendees on this Architectural Heritage Center tour will see historic apartment houses, storefronts, cultural and religious buildings, and the remnants of what was once a thriving residential area, while also gaining an understanding of the impacts of development on historic preservation efforts. The West End has also become one of Portland's hottest shopping and restaurant destinations, as evidenced by a New York Times travel article last year, and includes noteworthy recent projects like Lever Architecture's Union Way, Skylab Architecture's Blackbox building, and ZFG's 12 West tower, not to mention historic gems like A.E. Doyle's Central Library. Tour meets on the north side of Central Library, on SW Yamhill Street between 10th and 11th Avenues. 2PM Sunday, August 9. $20 ($12 for AHC members).
Walking tour: Irvington neighborhood
The largest National Register Historic District in Portland, Irvington encompasses 583 acres and 2,800 buildings. This Architectural Heritage Center tour explores only a small slice of a remarkable neighborhood, including the work of notable architects like Joseph Jacobberger and Ellis Lawrence – all with the goal of providing a broader understanding of the fascinating and rich history of this one-time streetcar suburb. Tour meets outside Holladay Park Church of God, at 2120 NE Tillamook Street. 6PM Thursday, August 13. $20 ($12 for AHC members).
Walking tour: Modernism and Beyond - south downtown
Downtown Portland contains an abundance of post-World War II architecture by renowned architects and firms like Pietro Belluschi, Michael Graves, and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. This Architectural Heritage Center tour explores the southern portion of the central business district. You’ll learn about the controversial as well as the award winners, the architects and firms that designed them, and the issues of the times that led to such dramatic changes to our built environment and skyline. Tour meets at the Salmon Springs Fountain at SW Naito Parkway and Salmon Street. 10AM Saturday, August 15. $20 ($12 for AHC members).