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Hi Brian, I just wanted to thank you for posting this blog. Not only is your information factual and interesting, I also appreciate your opinions and insightfulness on each matter. As a graduate student just beginning my study on Architecture and Design, I find your articles exciting to read (I even added your blog as an RSS!). I think it's important to stay informed about the decisions affecting our beautiful city and to learn more about movements and concerns with existing architecture and potential improvements! Thanks again!


I think there were nuggets of good ideas from several of the "proposers". Now it's a matter of taking those, putting them together and coming up with a workable single concept that benefits most everyone and preserves the Coliseum and its historic status.

Douglas K.

I actually liked the Blazers proposal as the overall best option for the Coliseum. But there were a lot of other neat ideas. Like val said, the good ideas in various proposals should be integrated into the final plan.

My personal favorite was the Natural and Cultural History Museum. It is an inspiring idea and worth pursuing, but not at the cost of taking over the whole Coliseum. I wonder if the idea would be viable if it was put on the lower level -- the "event level" -- and into the outdoor courtyards and the Exhibition Hall. That way, the plaza level would support sports and activities, and the lower level could be a major museum on the scale of OMSI (and presumably drawing OMSI-level crowds to the Rose Quarter during the day). I hope it gets past this first screening for further study; the proponents seem to have done a lot of work in the past month, and they're proposing what could be a great civic institution for Portland.

I don't care for various proposals to create active sports areas, unless they're really novel like the circular surfing pool concept. For the most part, swimming pools and handball courts and stuff are already found all over town. I can't see people traveling to the Rose Quarter to work out when there's a community center or a Gold's Gym close to home. I'd rather see the Rose Quarter the home to distinctive or even unique institutions rather than a larger version of whatever else is around town.

One interesting idea -- not Coliseum related -- was to put a minor league ballpark right across I-5, linked to the parking structures at Rose Quarter with a wide footbridge. The fellow who came up with it (I forget his name, but it was part of the panels concept) said he'd based the design off an existing minor-league stadium and that it worked within the footprint he identified.

The Jumptown Plaza concept is really good, with the two entrances to the Coliseum and the big plaza between Rose Quarter and the MC. That absolutely should be integrated into the final plan.

Stuart Emmons

The Blazers scheme is getting closer to respecting the historic integrity of the Coliseum. Still skeptical though. Their demolishing the canopy and courtyards is terrible and needs to be scraped. The concourse is a jewel and I didn't see any detail on these restaurants. Like the vets scheme a lot, as well as the 'change the deal' and the tennis guy. All backed what really should happen: restore the Coliseum to a beautiful mid-century masterpiece as a centerpiece for further program. Look to the Louvre, Moneo, Podrecca, Machado Silvetti for architects who respect the original and add program carefully. Any scheme that removes the bowl is destroying the historic integrity of the building and it's best asset. I imagine that eventually we will hire a really great architect to do a project here that reinstates Portland as a city that values design and respects it's past masterworks.


Please, no exo-skeletons on the Coliseum. One thing that struck me about the Natural and Cultural History Museum concept, was that it could easily be tied to another idea someone had called "Smithsonian West" or something like that. The Smithsonian does have "affiliate" organizations all over the U.S., including the Evergreen Museum in McMinnville. It seems it would not be much of a stretch to seek out such an affiliation for this museum concept and that might actually make the idea more obtainable.

Brett Laurila

Brian - Thank you for posting the images and reviews of the various schemes. Portland's greatest asset is its' community involvement, to see images of the bowl and concourse used as a presentation venue, it is my hope that it will reinforce the communities support of restoration of the bowl & box with careful adaptation of the ancillary spaces. I look forward to your insightful and honest reviews as the contenders are gleaned from the proposals submitted.

Keep up the great work!


Great Coverage and Advocacy B , keep up the focus on the Historic Building to keep the blazers honest. BTW do you have more photos of the event ? It truly was a game changing Design Event.
I have friends back east who were astounded that we did this . It would be a great B.L. article for Dwell or someone!

Eric Berg

After attending the event, I favor the MARC proposal for the coliseum. The rest of the Rose Quarter will be best served by the ideas and concepts in Jumptown Plaza. Together, it's the best public use.


Patrick Keenan-Devlin


The best thing that ever happened to the Rose Quarter was when Paul lost the Rose Garden, and Global Spectrum took over, it’s a shame he has it back. I find Allen’s about-face surprising. Allen neglected our Veterans Memorial Coliseum in favor of his Rose Garden for years. It baffles me, that the Rose Garden has already received a full remodel in its short life while the Coliseum desperately needs some upgrades. When the seats were replaced in the Rose Garden, why weren’t they moved to the Coliseum? I hate to see the Blazers and Paul Allen making decisions for a city building they don’t even use, and have a history of neglecting and wanting torn down. I’m a Winterhawks fan, and attend about ten games a year, if they are supporting Jumptown then I’m leaning that way. The Winterhawks deserve a proper home of their own.
The Winterhawks are currently in the middle of their first good season in years. Though most games have relatively small crowds last night they pulled in 10,907 fans for a game against Seattle at the Rose Garden. The Coliseum seating needs upgrading, but I’m wondering if reducing capacity is Allen’s way of insuring the Coliseum fails, and with his history it’s not that far off of an idea. When I looked at the pictures you had posted, I liked the idea of opening up the bowl, but I got to question, if you’re going to remove seats why would you take them out of the center ice/center court sections? Both the Winterhawks and Blazers, charge more for those seats then the ones in the corners so why reduce seating there?


On a side note, how do you feel about the PDX Roller Coaster idea? As a coaster fan I think it’s great! Portland is full of shopping already the last thing we need is more shopping to bring people to the Rose Quarter. Currently the only tourist attraction in Portland is a Tram to a hospital!!! Though I was too young to ever experience it, I’ve heard for years about the great coaster at Jantzen Beach, which by the way was the largest theme park in the U.S when it was built in 1928. Sadly it was torn down to build what??? A shopping mall. If you’ve been to Jantzen Beach lately, you know that mall is deader than the Rose Quarter, so maybe shopping is not the best attraction to add.


The Winterhawks have a video up on their website www.winterhawks.com showing the Curtain being lowered inside the colisum. Pretty Cool to watch.


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