Wells Fargo Tower (photo by Brian Libby)
BY BRIAN LIBBY
Summertime is almost over. The oppressive 90-plus heat waves are about to retreat, and Oregon's magically mild climate will return, bringing with it a full calendar of design and arts events. Until then, August winds down with a handful of tours and other events.
Walking Tour: Yamhill Historic District and Beyond
What is today the nationally registered Yamhill 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 fantastic 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. 10AM Saturday, August 16. $20 ($12 for AHC members).
Buildings and Places: A Walking Tour of Portland's Architecture
Sample more than a 100 years of classical beauty, modern marvels, pioneering ﬁrsts and the newest in contemporary and sustainable design. This AIA/Portland-produced downtown walking tour highlights the most signiﬁcant styles, architects and stories of the 20th & 21st centuries. Featuring individual works by Whidden & Lewis, AE Doyle, Pietro Belluschi, and Michael Graves, the tour also spotlights the modernist contributions of SOM, the contemporary designs of ZGF, TVA and SERA as well as special, less well-known gems. This two-hour tour starts at 11 AM at the Center For Architecture (NW 11th Avenue and Flanders Street) in the Pearl and ends near the Portland Building at SW Fifth Avenue and Main Street. 11AM Saturday, August 16; Sunday, August 24; and Sunday, August 30. $20.
Preservation Pub: The Demolition Epidemic
By year’s end, it is estimated that a record 400 Portland houses will be lost to demolition. With modern McMansions and high-density apartments quickly filling lots that once housed single-family homes, the recent demolition trend means millions of pounds of waste are going to the landfill, the character of established neighborhoods is rapidly changing, and tangible reminders of our history are disappearing forever. And while not every older building should be preserved, Portlanders will continue to see quality houses demolished without meaningful delay periods, public discourse, or neighbor notification unless reasoned code changes are adopted by the City Council. Restore Oregon is hosting two installments of its happy hour Preservation Pub series to discuss the demolition epidemic and learn about solutions proposed by the Coalition for Historic Resources. Velo Cult Bar, 1969 NE 42nd Avenue. 5PM Friday, August 22. Kells Irish Pub, 210 NW 21st Avenue. 6PM Tuesday, August 26. Free.
Jade District Tour
This Know Your City walking tour of the Jade District and SE 82nd Ave – home to East Portland’s Asian immigrant communities. Among the stops will be Wing Ming Herbs, the Portland Chinese Times, Portland Community College’s new SE center, and the Fubonn Shopping Center. The tour will also include meetups with business owners and community stakeholders to hear a variety of perspectives on development and neighborhood revitalization. The three hour tour (barring marooning on any uncharted islands) will end at the inaugural Night Market, an outdoor celebration with local food vendors and music. The tour begins at Union Station downtown and will then journey to 82nd Avenue by MAX train. 3PM Saturday, August 23 and Saturday, August 30. $10-20 suggested donation.
Architects Without Borders: Focus on Homelessness
AWB-Oregon's August meeting features a discussion of past, present, and future approaches to solving the problem of homelessness in Portland. Our guest presenters are: Sally Erickson, manager of the Portland Housing Bureau's Ending Homelessness Initiative; Tony Bernal, Director of Funding & Public Policy for Transition Projects; and Marc Jolin, executive director of JOIN, a nonprofit that has helped more than 6,000 homeless people find and retain permanent housing. The meeting will also review two relevant local AWB-Oregon projects: A remodel at St. Andre Bessette Catholic Church which provides services to the homeless, and a market-style distribution plaza for the Northeast Emergency Food Program. AIA Center For Architecture, 403 NW 11th Avenue. 6PM Wednesday, August 27. Free.
Lair Hill Neighborhood Walking Tour
One of Portland’s oldest residential neighborhoods, Lair Hill contains a fascinating mix of historic homes, along with notable buildings significant for their connections to the city’s early immigrant populations. Named for the lawyer, author, and editor William Hair Hill, the area, covered in this Architectural Heritage Center walking tour, is part of the broader South Portland, a district once home to many Italian, Irish, and Jewish immigrants, but much of which was demolished by the construction of the I-405 freeway in the late 1950s. 6PM Thursday, August 28. $20 ($12 for AHC members).