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Forrest Smith

Too bad the MC couldn't be used for the new proposed Sustainability Center. I know the site isn't ideal for that purpose, and the cost and ability to make the MC truly sustainable makes it prohibitive, but it would seem as though it could be a fitting, and possibly spectacular adaption for the building.


why could it not be used for Ron Paul's Portland Public Market? It's an infinitely better site, they could repair it before they moved in, it would bring people to the area throughout the year, possibly leading to renewed development interest, and along with the Rose Garden and Convention Center, it would be located well in regards to a tourist destination.

Bob R.

You know, if they left the curtains open all the way at night, and illuminated the exterior of the bowl with bright, colorful lights that could be seen from far away, people might have a more positive opinion about the exterior look of the place.


I was thinking along similar lines, but with LED light washed curtains creating a glowing cube similar to the water cube.

I would like to see it remain a stadium. We do not have another venue like it and removing the inner bowl and dramatically changing its function would really damage the ascetic of the building.


Jeez B , you lads had a chance to give hiz honour a noogie and you missed it....

The MC is ripe for
inventive re-purposing ,you know Keep PDX Wierd.
1]velodrome/bike + BMX@concourse

2]gaming/comics/skate center

3]community sports center

4]casino/aging rock star cafe

5]indoor flower/garden center

6]farmer's market/tasting cafes

or any combo of the above.

Amanda,Nick and Dan need to listen to the Creative Community , and not Sammy and Randy's out-of-town BFF.


the re-use of the mc is ripe for an ideas competition. i know the architecture community would generate more than enough viable alternatives to tearing it down.

i know adams only has a few more months left, but they've got to slow this thing down.

btw my entry into the competition will be similar to billb's #1 option. make the mc a bike center complete with velodrome.

Double J

Nice post Brian, Ive been scanning and editing my own photos of the building and you are right it is the transparency that comes out the most. If we need to organize an exhibition in support of the structure Im certain it could be accomplished.

To update the anachronism just add a little experimental outdoor culture to the site, rework the grounds to be less of a brutalist imperial-like parade ground so it welcomes people to the site and suddenly MC becomes the mc of the dance.

This is a building of stature and even its details are tremendous.


It's certainly a building that is difficult to appreciate until you stand inside. Thanks for the great information Brian.


The picture, second from the bottom with the red-orange Broadway Bridge in the background does it some justice.


I would love to see the view from the roof.


For all the pictures of Portland architecture on Flickr.com I'm finding very few of the exterior of this building. So this is a welcome sight! Anyone have some, please add to the group http://www.flickr.com/groups/memorialcoliseum


I know this may be distasteful to some, how about a casino in the old MC? Keep the planned one out of the Gorge, and put in in the heart of Portland, where most of the gamblers would be coming from anyway. This would be a money maker, preserve the classic building, create a heart for a entertainment zone, maybe fuel a Hotel big enough for the casino and convention center, without spending any tax payers money! Just food for thought.


Nipper, thanks for the thought, but a casino in the MC sounds like another gut-out proposition in order to accommodate the design requirements for a casino. As far as any support for a casino within the city limits, I don't recall there having been much at all so far. They seem to make money, but it's mostly an ugly business. With the economy as it presently is, I wonder if they're still pulling in the dollars like they were in past.

Haven't heard much lately about the decision to be made on a casino in the Gorge. As far as I'm concerned, building one there would be a crummy way to treat the Columbia River Gorge. It's bad enough that Portland uses it to haul more than 20 huge truckloads of its trash through it every day to the so-called 'wasteland' dump in Arlington.

The city could better direct its energies, using the excellent architectural design of the MC to something other than gambling.

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