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Every time I hear about the Coliseum being remodeled I have very mixed feelings. It is a wonderful building, but it is also woefully under appreciated and slightly under used.
My feeling is that is mostly location driven. It is really in a no mans land between the steel bridge, the Broadway bridge and I-5. No matter what the development is here, this will always be an isolated chunk of town.
Should we really gamble millions on redevelopment here when there are other prime targets that would certainly make more sense as urban centers?


I love the fact that the Memorial Coliseum's association with the sacrifices made by war veteran's has been able to successfully stall the neighboring, pro-sports conceived Rose Garden building from overwhelming and hastening the Memorial Coliseum off to a much earlier demise. This accomplishment by the coliseum, in addition to the achievement its design represents, argues for a continued presence and a great, renewed life for it in Portland.

The RG is newer, and better appointed. No disputing that, but this doesn't particularly redeem that structure's odious presence. Never the less, it fulfills a practical need, and that need seems to be hosting a pro basketball team. That seems to be what people want more than keeping around what seems to most of them to be nothing more than an architectural oddity. A white elephant.

I wondered some time back whether the coliseum could host bicycle racing in a velodrome. Can't remember for sure, but it seems like the central arena was a little too small for current standard Olympic distance. In this type of elegant, graceful building, the sport of bicycle racing (cleaned up of performance enhancing drugs, of course) could be an excellent compliment.


Brian, you should pick up on the story in yesterday's DJC about the pedestrian bridge in the South Waterfront. It sounds like dumming it down is the order of the day.


dumbing...how dumb


Many University of Oregon thesis design studios over the years have tackled the Rose Quarter, proposing a wide range of exciting ideas. It would be great if this backlog of ideas could be exposed to the public.


It really would be a crime to demolish. Sports arenas seem to have a short lifespan in this country and they've become a disposable commodity, only good when they're new. The MC is a classic and the view of it at night from the Broadway Bridge when it's all lit up is classic Portland.


The Memorial Coliseum seats on some prime real estate, and being that lots of developers are pushing the need for increased housing development, how about it get turned into high rise,high density housing , without any corporate tax breaks ?.

Douglas K.

The beauty of the Memorial Coliseum is that the glass enclosure could enclose virtually any kind of interior function. I prefer a public/civic type function (arena, music hall, market, museum, aquarium, railroad station) to private uses (big box store, hotel). But there's no reason to get rid of the building when it could be part of a mixed-use neighborhood.

The reason the area is a dead zone except during games is that there's NOTHING else going on there. If the Memorial Coliseum was turned over to some kind of daytime use (market, museum, aquarium, public sports palace) it could generate foot traffic all day. That would at least get some activity during the day.

But what's more important to bringing the area to life is the space around the Coliseum. Put in housing, office space, retail and restaurant space, a hotel or two, and it won't matter whether the Coliseum is used seven days a week or intermittently in the evening for concerts and sporting events.

(My own preference would be to see if there's a way to add 5 to 6 thousand seats to the arena. If so, it could be the home arena for a potential major league hockey team.)


Next time you use the skybridge between the two Pioneer Place shopping complexes, stop mid-span and look north, straight up 4th Avenue. There, poised prominently in the distance, is the clearly modernistic Coliseum.

It's combination of simple glass grid and contrasting curve of the interior seating structure offer welcome relief from the busy detailing of all other visible buildings leading up to it. It looks big. Makes me think of the Acropolis in Greece.


Great Views, Huge open spans, Great transportation connections, 2 blocks from the convention center, the answer seems obvious to me. We should build the convention center hotel inside it. Space for hundreds of rooms with plenty left over for great wide open atriums too. Visitors can take the max straight from the airport to the hotel, walk downtown, catch a game, and sleep late cause they only have to walk a few feet for their meetings.
Keep the landmark, get the hotel, and save a ton of money.

Steve R.

The beauty of the Coliseum is not solely in its glass curtain walls, but also in the contrasting sweep of the top of the arena bowl within in those walls.

Any reuse that would gut the interior but save the shell would do a great disservice to this architectural landmark.

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