BY BRIAN LIBBY
Master of Architecture Thesis Presentations
Master of Architecture candidates from Portland State University's School of Architecture, representing courses (taught by Renee Y. Chow, Robert Kirkbride, Seth McDowell and Whitney Moon) present their final theses, the culmination of this professional graduate degree program, with design proposals addressing social, historical and environmental issues. Shattuck Hall, SW Broadway & Hall Streets. 9AM-5PM Monday-Wednesday, May 16-18. Free (RSVP required).
Classical Downtown Portland Tour
Downtown 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. On this Architectural Heritage Center tour, attendees 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 begins on SW Broadway at Pioneer Courthouse Square - above the fountain. 6PM Wednesday, May 18. $20 ($12 for AHC members).
Modernism And Beyond: The Architecture Of Downtown (South)
Downtown Portland contains an abundance of post-World War II architecture by 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 begins at Salmon Springs Fountain - SW Naito and Salmon St - in the park. 6PM Thursday, May 19. $20 ($12 for AHC members).
East Portland/Grand Avenue Historic District
Along Grand Avenue, once the main commercial spine in the original and separate city of East Portland, lies an amazing mix of architecture from Italianate to Art Deco. Among the many buildings, including a few hidden gems, this Architectural Heritage Center walking tour will revealthe well-known Barber Block, a one-time mortuary, and West’s Block, the oldest building on Grand Avenue and home of the AHC itself. Tour begins at Architectural Heritage Center, 701 SE Grand Avenue. 10AM Saturday, May 21. $20 ($12 for AHC members).
A Spring Sunday Morning at The Shire
Acclaimed Portland architect and preservationist John Yeon sometimes described The Shire as "my Chinese landscape." There's nothing like a spring morning when the clouds are floating past Multnomah Falls to understand why. Walk the paths Yeon groomed with captured views of the falls and learn about his and his family's century-long legacy protecting the Columbia Gorge. State Route 14 near Washougal, Washington. 10AM Sunday, May 22. $30 (free to students and John Yeon Center members).
Denis Hayes and the Emerald Corridor Initiative
In 2013, Seattle’s Bullitt Foundation opened a new headquarters billed as the most energy-efficient commercial building in the world given its status as the first commercial building in the United States to meet Living Building Challenge standards. Two years later, the $32-million, 50,000-square-foot building proved itself, generating 60 percent more power than it consumed. Denis Hayes, the foundation’s president and the founder of Earth Day, hopes to kickstart a transformation of the entire Cascadia region into an equally deep-green model of sustainability. In January, Hayes announced that the $110-million foundation will direct all of its resources toward the Emerald Corridor Initiative, which Hayes describes as an effort to “make Seattle, Portland, and Vancouver leapfrog cities in much the same sense that the Bullitt Center is a leapfrog building—raising the bar for the planet by demonstrating what is possible.” Hayes will share his vision for the initiative as part of the Bright Lights discussion series hosted by Randy Gragg. Jimmy Mak's, 221 NW 10th Avenue. 6PM Monday, May 23. $10 suggested (free to students).
New Construction Technology and the Indian Housing Crisis
India is in the midst of a housing crisis, with a shortage of 49 million units according to one study. At this month's Architects Without Borders meeting, engineer Chad Norvell will speak about his experience working in India for WorldHaus, a social enterprise that uses new technology to build innovative, low-cost housing. He'll discuss projects completed in both dense slums and remote villages using a combination of local materials and pre-fabricated structures to reduce construction costs. He'll also touch on what distinguishes a social enterprise like WorldHaus from more familiar organizational and corporate structures. AIA Center for Architecture, 403 NW 11th Avenue. 6PM Wednesday, May 25. Free.
Pioneers To Postmodern Downtown
This Architectural Heritage Center tour spans the entire range of Portland's architectural history. 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 Post Modernism of Michael Graves. Tour begins at SW corner of SW Pine Street and Naito Parkway. 6PM Wednesday, May 25. $20 ($12 for AHC members).
Piedmont And Walnut Park Neighborhood
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 begins outside the North Portland Library, 512 North Killingsworth Street. 6PM Thursday, May 26. $20 ($12 for AHC members).
Last Sundays at the Watzek House
The University of Oregon's John Yeon Center for Architecture and the Landscape hosts an open house 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. 1061 SW Skyline Boulevard. 1 and 2:30PM Sunday, May 29. $20-30 (free for Yeon Center members and students).