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Bob R.

You make an interesting point about preserving neon signs: The facade of the Pagoda is in fact accented by neon!

Charlie Brown

I am truly saddened at the prospect of loosing the Pagoda. . . Hollywood was my childhood hangout. . . It was Fred Meyer, Yaws, Vic's Hobby supply, The Hollywood Theater, Alex Volchok (sic) Boot Store, Chin's Kitchen and now The Pagoda. . ? Please, can someone stop the madness?

Matt Davis

Hey Brian

Thanks for the hat tip!

Give me a call, would you? I'd like to pick your brains for a story in the paper on this very subject.

503 502 2106 is my cell.


Rose City Reader

And for me it was cocktails at The Pagoda before 2-fer steaks at Poor Richards.

It was bad enough to lose Hung Far Low (what ever happened to that sign?) from Old Town. To lose The Pagoda . . . .

The idea of using the building, or at least incorporating the pagoda itself into the Key Bank is terrific! I hope it gets legs!

PS -- I found your blog through ArtScatter when they passed on the Premios Dardo (or whatever it is called) award to you. Good stuff.


The Pagoda, found memories of place do not make a landmark. This building has been remodeled a few times over its history. It was first built in 1939-40 and designed by portland architects Johnson Wallwork & Dukehart, Architects, for Chin Luck and Leland Chin. The building was constructed for a Chinese family at a time when Oregon law prohibited Chinese immigrants from
owning property (the Chinese Exclusion Act was not repealed until 1943 therefore, its significance is related more to this temporal fact then the architecture per se. The Pagoda building was surveyed as part of the 1984 City of Portland Inventory of Resources, and is recorded as ID#
2872. It was ranked as a Level III resource. The Pagoda was remodeled in 1961 and 1985. All signs of previous fenestration has been removed. Like a Neon sign the only remaining architectural element of interest is the Pagoda not itsself and not the building. The design for the new Key Bank responds to the Hollywood design guidelines to be compatible and not historic. This may be the area to consider in the future; the (not historic) district guidelines may need revision to consider historic precedence over new design.


It's not as if the Pagoda is a 'grand building', but it is one of those quirky architectural examples that, over the years has helped give the Hollywood district a unique, fun quality. Even though the bank that's moving onto that lot probably feels it should have some kind of serious architecture that reflects the business they do, it's too bad they couldn't make a bit of concession and just go with the visual landmark quality the Pagoda building offers.

A couple years ago, a new Wells Fargo branch building was built in the area of land shared by Beav Town Sq and Beav Fred Meyer. I'm telling you, it's architectural presence is disappointing and does nothing to enhance Beavertons rep. Meanwhile, across the street at about the same time, the Saylor's Old Country Kitchen building, a modest building that had some interesting modernistic touches got torn down to be replaced by a strip mall. As strip mall styling goes, this one's not bad and it makes the bank building look bad by comparison.

A few years back, Beaverton lost another building, the J Thayer Stationary Supply Building(this one to fire)that was architecturally unique and modern; split-level, pitched roof, vaulted ceiling, exposed lam timber roof support beams. Lots of windows all the way around. It got replaced by a functional, probably much more practical, but comparatively more boring building design.

Building's with quirky design, just by hanging around for awhile, may get more than their due credit. At least some people probably think about the Pagoda this way. To me, it always seemed to be kind of a good companion to the Hollywood Theater's architectural styling.

Another notable, or at least interesting Beaverton Building that's been around for awile, sits right on Canyon Rd across from Bob Lamhere's upscale car dealership. The building dates to the mid-60's, back to nature, John Denver era; hip roof, rough, lap siding, looked like a cabin out in the woods. It's been a lot of different kind and quality restaurants...a controversial juice/strip bar too. An Asian food joint now.

Years after it been standing, someone got the bright, quirky idea to cover the exterior walls with beautiful 6-to 8 inch, actual river rock. That's what many thousands of motorists driving by, see every day. Talk about an anomaly. It's definitely odd, unique and distinctive compared to other architectural styles that surround it, and it has a signature presence the others don't. Not nearly as worthy of credit as is the Pagoda (in its original configuration), but maybe some day, someone will feel the loss of this building will be as great to Beav as the Pagoda's loss seems to Hollywood.

pissedoffin SW

This whole thing just sickens me. As I slowly come down from some of my proudest moments of being an American, the grounding is hastened by the disgusting actions around the Pagoda as of late. I have to ask, "What is wrong?"
wrong with the Hollywood Neighborhood Assc.

    for not recognizing the value in such quirky and unique places. Their lack of vision is only surpassed by Gresham.

wrong with Key Bank.

    or most banks, for that matter. Taking an iconic structure and leveling it for what is (and you all know it) going to be a most boring piece of architecture. Have we not learned a thing from the WAMU project just up the street?

wrong with all of us

    for being so complacent. Have you ever gone to dinner, or for drinks at the pagoda? Marveled at the ceiling, the golden medallions on the booths, the fabric wallpaper. If the drinks were better it would be the best spot in portland to lounge.

Hollywood is going to continue its downward spiral towards a vacancy-ridden neighborhood full of trinket shops and strip mall restyling. The bones are all there to give an great residential neighborhood the heart to make it exceptional. And the residents can't even see it. Tragic


This is a comment to all those who are upset by the impending destruction of the Pagoda.

If you want to get Key Bank's attention, vote with your banking business. If enough people with accounts at Key contact them and tell them they will take their banking elsewhere if the Pagoda is destroyed, I bet they might reconsider! Besides, aren't the banks supposed to be in financial trouble right now? Does it even make any sense for Key Bank to be expanding like this right now?

If you want actually want to DO SOMETHING about the loss of this iconic piece of Portland's history, make your voice heard. Contact Margaret Shrader Margaret_shrader@keybank.com (503 790 7575) and let Key know that this demolition is a form of cultural vandalism. Stop the complacency and take your banking business out of Key. It's the ethical thing to do!

We don't have to just take this loss, we can take a stand!

michael conroy

I'm depressed... the Pagoda is just one more reason why i like living in Hollywood

michael conroy

just wrote key bank few nights ago and they responded and said they weren't going to tear down the pagoda but incorporate it somehow into a key bank. Key Bank of Shanghai?

[name removed]

God, what's next, Grauman's chinese theatre?

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