BY BRIAN LIBBY
Portland 101: Crooked Grids, Tiny Blocks, and the Building of the City
How did Portland get this way, with its little square blocks and weird intersections, the funny pronunciations and the bridge ramps to nowhere? Why is it even located where it is? This Architectural Heritage Center lecture by Robert Jordan will look at the Portland street grid, the naming and re-naming of streets, and the eras of commercial architecture that have marked our compact and vibrant downtown, as well as the near blitzkrieg effect of the Great Demolition which left us with parking lots where the temples of finance and industry once stood. Architectural Heritage Center, 701 SE Grand Avenue. 10AM Saturday, December 6. $20 ($12 for AHC members).
Design Museum Portland: Winter Celebration
Celebrating its first year in Portland, Design Museum Portland hosts this celebration atop the 12 West building downtown with nibbles, drinks, live music from the band LaLa Pomp, and a roving photobooth. Indigo at 12 West, 430 SW 13th Avenue. $55 (free for 'Friend' level Design Museum Portland members, $25 for regular members).
Veterans Memorial Coliseum Lecture and Tour
Oregon's DoCoMoMo (standing for the "International Committee for the Documentation and Conservation of Buildings, Sites and Neighborhoods of the Modern Movement") chapter presents a lecture by architect Rick Potestio and a behind the scenes tour of the historic Veterans Memorial Coliseum by VMC asistant general manager Scott Sission. When completed in 1960, Memorial Coliseum was a technological feat of engineering and operation unrivaled by any other large civic structure, and a fully-articulated example of lnternational-Style Modernism. In addition to the glass curtain wall, Memorial Coliseum’s other features such as the undulating concrete seating bowl contribute to the significant social history of the building. It's the only large-scale public arena glass-walled structure of the mid-century retaining its original design, materials, workmanship, highly urban context, and original relationship to nearby geographic features such as the Willamette River. Veterans Memorial Coliseum, 300 North Ramsay Way. 4PM Thursday, December 11. $10 ($5 for DoCoMoMo members).
Architects Without Borders - Holiday Open House & Film Screening
An evening festive food and drink in celebration of this year's projects (including the Bon Repos Orphanage in Haiti, housing in Ethiopia and sustainable schools in Nepal), speakers, and volunteers. For your enjoyment we'll also be screening two 25-minute episodes of the documentary series Rebel Architecture, which profiles activist architects from around the world confronting social and environmental problems in their own countries. AIA/Portland Center For Architecture, 403 NW 11th Avenue. 6PM Wednesday, December 10. Free.