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My memory (admittedly shaky these days) from the backstage tour of the Armory is that PCS moved the entrance to the other side because that was the only feasible way to provide disabled access through the front door.


Anyone know what happened to the amazing sign out in front of PCS? I was down there for First Thursday and its gone, replaced by an easy to miss 'banner sign' which displays upcoming plays.

The original was a real landmark, not to mention a clever work of art. It actually made the Pearl a more interesting area to navigate as you could see it from a number of places and get a lock on where the theater was at a glance.

Perhaps the historic preservationist' (intensely retarded) restriction against banners on the building forced its demise?


i think it wasn't holding up to the elements very well.


Part of the reason the Sliver Park took so long to construct was that Hoffman pulled off the job, leaving the theater to find a new contractor to finish the "park". I heard the stone was all imported from China so that probably took a long time for fabrication and shipping.

James M Harrison

Regarding the sculpture that was taken down, I'd like to clarify the back story for the record.
I was asked to design a sculptural marquee for PCS as they were not allowed to create a conventional marquee for the building at the time. In ten weeks a design was created, approved, and installed, and the client was grateful for the quick turn around,and for a design that created drama on the street.
Less than one year later I was informed that it would be removed as the client changed their mind about the suitability of the piece. The client had a full conservation report, and the material is designed to withstand the elements, so that was not the reason for removal.
'Aiorema' is the Greek word for what is known in Latin as Deus Ex Machina, or 'God in the Machine'. Originally this was a more literal concept- a crane used in ancient greek theater for flying in the gods.I thought this was an appropriate way to link old and new. I'm gratified to hear that it was well received by some. Thanks for the chance to clarify.


James, I loved that piece! If it's gone, that's in my mind REALLY too bad.


We should start a campaign to bring back the cool sign...


I heard that they were not allowed to put one single banner anywhere on the building (unlike any cultural building I can think of) because of historic preservation restrictions. No doubt the pressure of running a successful theater had something to do with removing James M. Harrison's amazing work of art, in order to place the now existing banner sign to advertise coming plays.

Bob R.

Does anyone have a link to a photo of the removed artwork?


You can see the removed sculpture at



The pictures don't do it justice, it sat on the walk like a spectre. The torque and glow of the piece would catch your eye and you'd be drawn to it, even if you knew what you'd find when you got there.

Attending a play, walking towards it would seem a kind of event - it's the theater after all. It captured the essence of the building as well, a doppleganger; a ghostly counterpart to the historic structure.

It's a real loss.


I don't think it was JH's best work. It also looked kind of cheap plastic to me.


i liked it very much. but despite what the artist says, it was not holding up very well in my opinion. the material appeared to be dirty and ratty between the different layers.


I'm not sure how 415 layers of 1/2" thick acrylic comes off looking like "Cheap Plastic" - but, as a first, it's certainly possible it needed some modifying to work well (sealer to keep dirt out?)

Anything cutting edge is open to needing revisions. Would anyone honestly rid the city of The Lovejoy columns for example, because the works weren't "holding up?"


James Harrison, I liked your sculptural marqee fairly well. If I had a point about it to pick, it was that the letters spelling out 'Portland' were just a little hard to discern. I second what 'kd' says about the glow it radiated. That aspect of it was good.


Not to beat up on James at all because I like much of his other work, but I thought the piece was a little short for the scale of the building. And I agree that the text was hard to read. I thought the light was really pretty nice however.


I found a image of the piece that shows it in context.


Today, I went and looked at the sliver park firsthand. I would say, 'Not bad at all. Quite nice really'. The water sound is fairly delicate, and of the trickling variety, visually and aurally. The larger expanses of moving water don't actually show a lot of movement, but at several discrete points in the feature, it drops vertically, making for a nice little surprise discovery. Even the expanses of water that don't move much have just enough movement to break up the reflected images the cityscape around them in a very appealing way. That's exactly the kind of thing I like in a good walking city.

There is a descending channel of water to either side of the walkway running the length of the park. It's not that high, but is very interesting in how effective it is at offering a welcome sense of refuge from the lanes of traffic just on the other side of the channel nearest the street.

One of the things I noticed right away was the edges of the stones making up the channel walls. The horizontal edge is not a straight line, but one that weaves in and out irregularly. This makes the stonework more beautiful to my eye, but I'm hoping it also has the added benefit of discouraging skateboarders from thinking of this part of the feature as just another barrier to turn into a grind rail. Perhaps the the gentle sound of the trickling water in their ears will chase such thoughts away.

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