BY BRIAN LIBBY
The Great Light Way: Business, Buildings And Boosters On Portland’s Third Street
By 1914, Portland’s city center had passed by Third Street and its mixture of mostly late-19th century commercial buildings. All of the new hotels, department stores and theaters were being built to the west on streets like Fifth, Sixth, and the newly minted Broadway. Banding together as the “Third Streeters,” a group of merchants decided to take matters into their own hands, building the Great Light Way, a line of illuminated arches at street intersections extending from SW Yamhill to NW Glisan. This presentation by writer Dan Haneckow (who has chronicled the Great Light Way extensively on his Cafe Unknown blog) examines the motives of the Third Streeters in the context of progressive era civic boosterism and initiatives such as Edward H. Bennett’s Greater Portland Plan (1912), along with a special focus on the buildings of Third Street, and those of its rivals. Architectural Heritage Center, 701 SE Grand Avenue. 10AM Saturday, March 4. $20 ($12 for AHC members).
Pioneers to Postmodern Downtown Walking Tour
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 meetup location to be announced. 10AM Saturday, March 4. $20 ($12 for AHC members).
Historic Produce Row Walking Tour
For well over a hundred years the Central Eastside Industrial District was a hub for wholesale food distribution throughout the Pacific Northwest. In recent years, this area has been transformed into a magnet for forward-looking entrepreneurs and an important job-generating center as zoning has allowed more creative office space. Still maintaining its image as Produce Row, a variety of diversified businesses have moved into the area including coffee roasters, restaurants, delis, breweries and a mix of trendy retailers. Several warehouses have been converted into affordable commercial space and artist's lofts. Now development pressure from the north and south ends of the district brings more change to this neighborhood. This Positively Portland Walking Tour will survey both the past and future of the CEID. Tour begins outside Sheridan's Market, 409 SE Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard. 1PM Saturday, March 4. $15.
Historic Irvington Walking Tour
Irvington started out as a streetcar suburb in the 1890s and by the 1920s had become one of the most prestigious residential neighborhoods in Portland. The Irvington National Register District includes over 2500 houses, most of them are considered contributing to the historic character of the district. On this Positively Portland Walking Tour, attendees will see only a rather small portion of the neighborhood, but included in the tour are some of the finest examples of Colonial Revival and high style Arts and Crafts residences in the city. Tour begins at Peet's Coffe and Tea
1414 NE Broadway. 1PM Sunday, March 5. $15.
Old Town Historic District Walking Tour
The commercial district near the historic Skidmore Fountain and the oldest standing buildings in downtown comprise this tour of Portland’s only National Historic District. Attendees on this Architectural Heritage Center tour will see the work of Portland’s earliest architects, learning how cast iron played a central role in their designs and how the city developed so close to the river, and along the way learning about some beautiful but long-lost buildings while also seeing great examples of historic preservation. Tour meetup location to be announced. 10AM Tuesday, March 7. $20 ($12 for AHC members).
Emerging Professionals Happy Hour
The AIA Portland chapter's Emerging Professionals Happy Hour Series is a monthly event hosted by architecture and design-related firms in the Portland area. The events are offered as an opportunity to network with fellow professionals, talk with peers in the field, and visit the offices some of Portland’s design firms. This time around, the event will be hosted by engineering firm KPFF in tandem with the Architecture Foundation of Oregon. KPFF, 111 SW Fifth Avenue, Suite 2500. 5:30PM Thursday, March 7. Free.
ILFI PDX Collaborative Happy Hour: LEED v4 – How does it work?
The Portland chapter of the International Living Future Institute hosts these non-credited educational happy hour events to provide an avenue to learn, network and explore new topics. According to the US Green Building Council, its LEED v4 offers project teams flexibility with building strategies, a performance based approach to design, measurable long-term results for operations and maintenance, smart grid thinking, a comprehensive approach to water efficiency, and a deeper look at the impact of building materials on human health and the environment. Elisa Catanzarite of Ankrom Moisan Architects will be joined by Chris Forney and Jeff Frost of Brightworks Sustainability to discuss insights and perspectives they've developed from the LEED v4 projects they have worked on. Ankrom Moisan Architects, 38 NW Davis Street #300. 5:30PM Thursday, March 9. Free.
CPID Talks: Killian Doherty
The Portland State University School of Architecture's Center for Public Interest Design's ongoing CPID Talk series welcomes Northern Ireland architect Killian Doherty of the Architectural Field Office, a small collaborative practice that has participated in a number of post-conflict reconstruction projects in Sierra Leone and Rwanda. Doherty, a visiting scholar with the CPID through June, will discuss a film he's working on that documents a settlement built in northern Liberia in the early 1960s by a Swedish mining company to accommodate workers at a nearby iron ore mine. Within only a few years this housing program had transformed into a fully functioning town called Yekepa. But as the iron-ore reserves became depleted, Yekepa fell into disrepair, a ghost town haunted by the memories of past prosperity. Now partly repopulated by workers of another mining firm, Yekepa has returned to life, but its fortunes are starkly dependent on the price of iron-ore on the world market. Portland State University, Shattuck Hall, Broadway and Hall Streets, Room 217. 12PM Friday, March 10. Free.
Historic Multi-Family Housing Of Northwest Portland Walking Tour
Northwest Portland’s Alphabet District is often thought of for its beautiful mansions, when in fact, it has a surprising history as a rental district. The Couch family built some of the earliest upscale rental apartment buildings. In the 1920s, Elmer Feig became well known for his Northwest Portland apartment designs, and a housing crunch during World War II led to the conversion of many classic homes into multi-family units. This Architectural Heritage Center tour will give attendees a primer on how multifamily housing can enhance a neighborhood, and how present-day concerns about added density in historic neighborhoods needn't be feared. Tour meetup location to be announced. 10AM Saturday, March 11. $20 ($12 for AHC members).
Portland’s Historic Preservation Wins And Losses
Over the past 50 years preservationists in Portland have worked tirelessly to preserving many of the most well-recognized buildings and neighborhoods in the city, but still face an uphill battle against demolitions. In this Architectural Heritage Center lecture, activists will share stories of important historic preservation wins and losses in the Portland area. Attendees will hear how the Pioneer Courthouse was saved (more than once) from the wrecking ball and how the dismantling of Harbor Drive helped those trying to save Old Town from further destruction. The losses will also be discussed, be it neighborhoods wiped out by urban renewal and freeway development or notable landmarks like Portland’s Union Stockyard building and the Orpheum Theater. Architectural Heritage Center, 701 SE Grand Avenue. 10AM Saturday, March 11. $20 ($12 for AHC members).
Bold Type Talks: Design Resolution
A new series "where women in architecture, art, and design can meet, hang out, collaborate, inspire one another, and discuss big ideas related to our fields," the inaugural Bold Type talk, attendees can offer answers to the question, "how can you use a design approach to create the world you want to live in? What does that look like in daily life? And how can you start today?" Crush Bar, 1400 SE Morrison Street. 6PM Monday, March 13. Free.
Pearl District Tour: Preservation In The Midst Of Change
Over the last 20 years, the Pearl has been transformed from an industrial area into one of Portland’s premier residential and retail districts. A century ago, the area went through a similar transformation—from a working class housing area at the edge of a marsh, to the city’s premier industrial and warehousing area. As this Architectural Heritage Center walking tour will demonstrate, many of Portland’s best known architects of the period designed buildings for important local and national companies. Most of these buildings remain, with their exteriors intact and new uses inside. Tour meeting location to be announced. 10AM Tuesday, March 14. $20 ($12 for AHC members).