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I would love to support a rally to save Memorial!


Estimated embodied energy in the Memorial Coliseum: 375,696,720 mbtu - based upon calculator at thegreenestbuilding.org.
That translates into the amount of energy in 3,266,928 gallons of gasoline!

It would be improbable that a new building could ever offset the amount of energy that would be wasted if the MC is torn down and replaced. Come on City of Portland, you're better than that!


What a great article. If you go to my blog I have uploaded a article written by a PSU professor that details not only reasons for saving the Memorial Coliseum, but also some ideas for its reuse. Though I am for keeping the Coliseum as it is currently being used. Thanks for your work on this issue Brian.



That's a fine commentary in support of the MC by Potestio. I think it was especially important that he pointed out the community aspect of the coliseum's design; the mid-point placement of the concourse "...between the most expensive and the least expensive seats". And, the opportunity the coliseum's glass curtain walls afford people to stroll the concourse and take in extraordinary views of the city. It's something to see from there, the sun setting on the hills across the Willamette River.


Well written Rick. Thank you.


Here is a link to some studies that have been done over the years:



commenting on this article, I would have to say that the pointing out the personal memories being a reason for not tearing down the building is not good enough...for people like me who did not live here during the prime of the MC, I do not have any personal attachments to the building.

Though, what is a good point is that it is a paid off multi use 12,600 seat arena, which will always have a need at one point or another. For that reason, I think the building should be saved...will saving this building help revitalize the Rose Quarter? No. But I also ask the question about removing the interior and using the shell for another purpose, isnt that the same as tearing down the building? It would lose its characteristic if this was done.

Also another factor in sustainability that is being overlooked, yes energy is used in tearing down the structure, but there is a possibility of reusing as much of the original material in the new structure that could be designed to use less energy.

My point is that I have yet to hear a good argument to tear down the structure, but I have only heard one good reason to keep it, which is the need for multi purpose arena space as a city grows.

Now a better question, where should the ballpark go? And it has to be an area within the inner part of the city and have a positive effect on its surroundings.


Dennis says: "removing the interior and using the shell for another purpose, isn't that the same as tearing down the building?"

Not at all. Renovation/Re-use equates to far less construction debris. Renovation is more labor intensive than new construction, meaning there is more local job creation.
Less energy wasted plus local job creation sounds sustainable to me.

"It would lose its characteristic if this was done."

Not at all. Preserving the exterior and renovating the interior preserves the "landmark" that most people see everyday and want preserved.

"there is a possibility of reusing as much of the original material in the new structure that could be designed to use less energy."

How exactly do you propose to re-use all of that glass in a manner that reflects its original purpose? The point is that even if much of the building materials are re-purposed, that does little to preserve the memory of an important component of Portland's building heritage. And there is no doubt that Memorial Coliseum is an important component of post-war Portland. It is also a major example of the impact that Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill had on Portland, beginning in the 1950s.

Just because you have no personal memories of the place, doesn't mean the building lacks significance either.


I hope that Rick's letter was sent to the Oregonian.


It should be noted that eventually Broadway will be served by streetcar, meaning the existing school site would be served by public transit.


val, the point I am getting at is that carving out the inside of the building is no different to destroying the design of the building as destroying the building.

When anyone mentions the MC in these forums, it is always mentioned, "It's a sophisticated glass box with a gentle curving bowl set inside for the arena." Removing the bowl is removing a key component of the building, thus you might as well tear it down at that point because the integrity of the original design would be lost.

Now, again, I am not suggesting tearing it down is the best option, I am saying that neither option is a good idea. I think a renovation to the building is needed to keep the structure healthy against wear and tear, but removing the bowl is just as bad as tearing down the building.

But by not removing the building will do nothing to help fix the mistakes that have been made at the Rose Quarter...as well as replacing it with a baseball park will also do nothing to fix those same mistakes.

And the point that I am making about personal memories is that they are just that, and in this case they are being used to try to tug at people's strings to make them side with not tearing down the building. For me, I have no personal attachments, but that doesnt change how I feel about the structure that I stated in this post.


As much as I love the MC, those arguing for saving it might want to think about actually making a business case for its preservation. Why does Portland really need two arenas? I'm not saying it doesn't, but it seems that the MC isn't generating enough revenue to pay its way. What's the plan for addressing that problem?


Why do we have to build a new baseball stadium? We just went through millions in upgrades to PGE to be a better baseball stadium. Its the soccer team that is being upgraded to a higher league. It makes sense to me that the Beavers stay in PGE, therefore not needing some 20 million for new PGE renovations and instead put that money towards a new soccer specific stadium.

My suggestion for the new sss location, the USPS site in the pearl. I know all those hoighty toighty condo owners won't want that in their "backyard", but the USPS is a blight on the whole district and we need something there that will bring some energy to old town. Its located right next to the new Green and Yellow lines and not far from both the Red and Blue lines and the Street car. The site is plenty large enough for a small 20-30,000 soccer stadium. Plus, I would love to see the park blocks reconnected across burnside and terminating at the gates of a beautiful soccer stadium. Just a though.

Just a thought.

Jim Johnson, CRS

I have some great memories of the MC.

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