BY BRIAN LIBBY
Seeing the History for the Trees
Just as we celebrate and preserve historic buildings, Portlanders also celebrate and preserve the city's trees, although not always for the same reasons. From oaks that predate the city to the rare experiments of horticulturists, Portland’s Heritage Tree program protects over 300 remarkable specimens that represent the work of past individuals. In this Architectural Heritage Center lecture, David-Paul B. Hedberg, author of From Stumptown to Treetown: Interpreting Portland’s History Through its Heritage Trees and a member of Portland’s Heritage Tree Committee, shares fascinating stories of Portland’s heritage trees and the changing styles in tree planting throughout Portland’s history. Architectural Heritage Center, 701 SE Grand Avenue. 6:30PM Wednesday, May 16. $20 ($12 for AHC members).
Mass Timber – The Developer’s Perspective
The May meeting of the Critical Mass (Timber) Meetup Group will focus on the pros and cons of mass timber from a developer’s perspective. Why are developers motivated to use mass timber? What are the challenges in doing so, and how can these be overcome? What would make it easier for more mass timber projects to move forward? How is Oregon positioned compared to other parts of the US? How can we maintain our first-mover advantage? Noel Johnson, a principal at Cairn Pacific LLC, and Ben Kaiser, owner of Kaiser Group, will share their perspectives on these questions and more. Oregon Historical Society, 1200 SW Park Avenue. 5PM Thursday, May 17. Ticket price undisclosed.
Classical Downtown Portland Tour
Portland contains an extensive collection of classically influenced buildings, many of which are clad with glazed terra cotta, a building material that was at its height of popularity in the early 20th century. Visitors on this Architectural Heritage Center tour will see the city’s first “skyscraper,” a bank that could have been a Greek temple and learn about several architects from this period who left an indelible impression on Portland including A.E. Doyle, the firm of Whidden and Lewis, and the Reid Brothers from San Francisco. Tour meetup location revealed with ticket purchase. 6PM Thursday, May 17. $20 ($12 for AHC members).
Design Museum Mornings: The Way We Work
The way we work is changing. According to Forbes magazine, there has been a 40 percent increase in flexible workplace options by employers over the last five years, and regular telecommuting has grown 115 percent in the past decade – nearly 10 times faster than the rest of the workforce. Technology, innovative thinking, and a higher value for quality of life is driving this change, yet some workforce principles are not keeping up with this pace. The need for adaptation in communications, management, and HR practices is increasing every year, and there are many revolutionary tools coming to market to address this future of the workplace. This Design Museum Mornings talk from Design Museum Portland will be presented by Ashley Spitzer, chief finance and operations officer at CENTRL Office. Wacom Experience Center, 1455 NW Irving Street. 8:30AM Friday, May 18. $10 plus service charge (free for Design Museum Portland members).
Future Vision: Voices in the Workplace
The American Institute of Architects/Portland chapter's Committee on Equity, Diversity & Inclusion hosts the latest conversation in the Future Vision series exploring equity in design. This year’s title, Voices in the Workplace, acknowledges that a company’s culture is a reflection of its members. Everyone brings with them personal experiences, values and biases that intrinsically shapes a firm’s daily efforts. As companies work towards reflecting the realities of a changing world and a global client base, understanding the dynamics of a healthy workplace culture is paramount to success. This full-day symposium will feature individual speakers, panelists, educators & professionals sharing their expertise and actionable strategies around equity in the workplace. Sessions include a discussion highlighting the current state of the profession, individual perspectives around representation in the workplace, tools to address workplace harassment, a workshop on negotiation skills and a moderated panel focusing on the expectations & needs of the future workplace. Union/Pine, 525 SE Pine Street. 8:30AM Friday, May 18. $100 plus service charge ($85 plus service charge for members of the AIA, the International Interior Design Association, the Construction Specifications Institute, the Architecture Foundation, the International Living Future Institute, the American Council of Engineering Companies, or the Structural Engineers Association of Oregon; $65 plus service charge for associate AIA members; $30 plus service charge for students).
Houses Of Eastmoreland Tour
The Eastmoreland neighborhood is known throughout Portland for its undulating pattern of dense, tree-lined streets and landscaped yards. Once farmland, the housing in Eastmoreland was largely constructed between 1925 and 1940. Along this Architectural Heritage Center walking tour, attendees will see not only fantastic architect-designed houses in period revival styles, but also their popular, non-architect-designed counterparts. Tour meetup location revealed with ticket purchase. 10AM Saturday, May 19. $20 ($12 for AHC members).
Historic Oregon City Walking Tour
Situated at the base of Willamette Falls, Oregon City is the historic birthplace of the Oregon Territory. In the 1840s this community was the end of the Oregon Trail and the commercial center of the upper Willamette Valley for several years afterwards. On this Positively Portland Waking Tour through the historic district of upper Oregon City, attendees will see many of the sites that defined this pioneer town into the early 20th century as well as a panoramic view of the river below and the former industrial site poised to be re-purposed into a mixed use river-side commercial and residential development. A special feature of this tour is a brief interior view of one of the region's most significant mid-century modern residences. Tour begins in the city park adjacent to McLoughlin House, 713 Center Street. 10AM Saturday, May 19. $15.
Architects in Schools 2018 Exhibits
This exhibit of student-designed architectural and planning projects celebrates the Architecture Foundation of Oregon's Architects In Schools program, a statewide six-week residency program for elementary schools in which practicing architects and other design professionals volunteer to partner with classroom teachers. The program has grown from annually serving 800 to more than 4,500 students in the Portland metropolitan area and throughout the state. Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI), 1945 SE Water Avenue, Turbine Hall Mezzanine. 11AM Saturday, May 19. Free.
Merchants and Markets: Historic Yamhill District Tour
Exploring the heart of Portland’s late-nineteenth century commercial district, this Architectural Heritage Center tour visits the Yamhill Historic District and nearby historic buildings of SW Second and Third Avenues. The route is packed with the names of prominent city pioneers who made their mark as merchants, developers and architects as well as providing some of the city’s finest examples of cast iron, Richardsonian Romanesque and Classical buildings. The tour also will visit the Willamette’s first bridge, the first public market, and the city's first Chinatown as we discuss how the district spearheaded the first preservation efforts for Portland’s downtown. Tour meetup location revealed with ticket purchase. 10AM Tuesday, May 22. $20 ($12 for AHC members).
When the Landmarks are Gone: Older African Americans, Place, and Change in North and Northeast Portland
This Architectural Heritage Center lecture by Raina Croff, an assistant professor of neurology at Oregon Health & Science University’s NIA-Layton Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease Center, chronicles the SHARP Walking Program in North and Northeast Portland. Local businesses, social clubs, churches, homes of family and friends—landmarks trigger memories and remind us of neighborhood stories that transform place into home and weave individual lives into community. But when the landmarks are gone and a new demographic takes root what new meanings do the old stories take on? For many older African Americans, rapid gentrification has rendered Portland’s historically black neighborhoods unrecognizable and unrelatable. The SHARP Walking Program uses community memory to motivate African Americans aged 55 and over to engage in regular physical and social activity. Routes showcase the vibrancy of local African American life through GPS-triggered historical images. The digital program records walking groups’ conversational reminiscence about what was while they pass through the strikingly different landscape of what is. Walkers’ reflections on aging, place and change speak to the shifting meaning of their stories, of them as storytellers and as their audience as storytakers. Architectural Heritage Center, 701 SE Grand Avenue. 6:30PM Wednesday, May 23. Free.
Piedmont Neighborhood Walking Tour
In addition to the well-known neighborhoods of Irvington, Ladd's Addition and Laurelhurst, Portland is also home to the lesser known but architecturally rich neighborhoods of Piedmont and Walnut Park. These areas contain many fine examples of familiar styles such as Queen Anne and Arts & Crafts but also the less frequently seen forms of Byzantine, Jacobean and Prairie style. Along the way during this Architectural Heritage Center tour, attendees will see the work of architects like Joseph Jacobberger, whose North Portland Branch Library has stood as a neighborhood landmark for more than a century. Tour meetup location revealed with ticket purchase. 6PM Thursday, May 24. $20 ($12 for AHC members).
Research Based Design Initiative Spring Symposium
In this symposium, architecture firms participating in the Portland State University School of Architecture's Research Based Design Initiative, along with their student research teams, will present collaborative research projects and discuss the role of computer-aided research in design. In the morning session, presentations include "Focus on the Occupant: Pre- and Post-Occupancy Evaluation" from Heather DeGrella of Opsis Architecture, with student presenters Gwen Ward, Jenny Rodriguez, and Wayny Le; "Tightening the Feedback Loop: How Parametric Modeling Tied to Performance Analytics Can Inform Design Decisions" from Scott Mooney and Stan Barter of SRG Partnership, with recent alumnus Matt Sedor; and "Designing with Data: Intelligence and Evolutionary Based Design" from Sean Wittmeyer and Jonah Hawk of ZGF Architects with student presenter Amy Peterson. In the afternoon lecture, Eike Roswag-Klinge from the Technical University of Berlin will present ""Natural Building Lab: Constructive Design and Climate Adaptive Architecture." Portland State University, Shattuck Hall Annex, 1914 SW Park Avenue. 9:30AM Friday, May 25. Free.
Historic Downtown Beaverton Walking Tour
As the inter-urban rail network expanded into hills and fields west of the city of Portland in the early 20th century, many small rural enclaves became bustling suburbs that grew up around the rail stops. The automobile era has tended to erase much of the evidence of these streetcar era suburbs. Yet Beaverton still retains a core intersection of the early 20th century streetscape. This Positively Portland Walking Tour will start at the contemporary Beaverton Library and explore the buildings that defined the city of Beaverton nearly 100 years ago. Tour begins at Beaverton Public Library, 12375 SW Fifth Street. 10AM Saturday, May 26. $15.
Last Sunday at the Watzek House
The University of Oregon's John Yeon Center for Architecture and the Landscape invites the public to tour Portland's only National Historic Landmark residence, the Aubrey Watzek House. Completed in 1937, the Watzek House's bold yet timeless synthesis of many traditions of residential architecture into a refined new language became an important inspiration for the Northwest Style of Modernism. Published widely and exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art next to such icons as Le Corbusier's Villa Savoye and Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater, the house has influenced generations of architects. Watzek House, 1061 SW Skyline Boulevard. 11AM, 1PM and 3PM Sunday, May 27. $30 (free for Yeon Center members and for students).
Memories of Vanport: A Panel Discussion
During its short lifetime from 1942 to 1948, the city of Vanport was home to a large and diverse population. The housing project was constructed on a Columbia River flood plain to house thousands of workers employed in Portland and Vancouver’s shipyards during WWII. Vanport later served as home to returning veterans, African Americans and displaced Japanese Americans who had been interned. On May 30, 1948, the swollen Columbia River overflowed Vanport’s dikes and swept the city away. In this Oregon Historical Society panel discussions, former residents will share their memories of life in Vanport and the legendary flood that destroyed the community. McMenamins Kennedy School, 5736 NE 33rd Avenue. 7PM Monday, May 28. Free.
Colonial Heights Neighborhood Walking Tour
The under-appreciated but charming southeast Portland neighborhood, subject of this Architectural Heritage Center tour, boasts an array of architectural styles from English cottage and colonial revival to mid-century modern and Northwest regional modernism. Starting with the "Burrell Villa," now known as the Holman Funeral Home, the tour will meander throughout Colonial Heights, highlighting both residential and religious structures as tour-goers learn about the people who developed and lived in this neighborhood. Tour meetup location revealed with ticket purchase. 10AM Tuesday, May 29. $20 ($12 for AHC members).
Boise Neighborhood and Mississippi Avenue Walking Tour
The dramatic redevelopment occurring along Mississippi Avenue today is merely the latest chapter in the remarkable and unique history of this neighborhood. From an electric streetcar line to racially discriminatory real estate redlining, this tour explores the cultural and economic changes that have shaped Boise's built environment. Tour-goers will see examples of late-19th century working-class homes built primarily by Scandinavian, German, and Polish immigrants, not to mention a forgotten dance hall that once housed a temple of the Nation of Islam. 6PM Thursday, May 31. $20 ($12 for AHC Members).