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Listen to the loud applause from the couch here in NW Portland. Thank you for posting such an interesting article on these two buildings and these two architects. I have read a great deal about Belluschi and listened to your Artist's Talk at PAM a year or so ago. After reading about Frederick Fritsch here, I am going to have to see if I can find out more ... I'm hoping to be at your talk at noon.


More applause. Your talk is happening as I type. My apologies for confusing you with Randy. Thank you for doing this talk today.


It's unfortunate that many aspects of Andrea Cochran's beautiful courtyard design were destroyed during the renovation.

Miron da Serra Circular

I have never seen his work before. Looks a lot like Unicamp, Brazils biggest University. Very nice...

Rick Potestio

Thanks for the interesting viewpoints. I would like to elaborate on your comments.

Pietro Belluschi was a very talented architect. He is credited, rightly so, with being a remarkable inovator. His church designs revolutionized church architecture, and of course, he was the first to achieve the bauhaus dream of a truley glass encased building.

That said, I think the greatest lesson today's architects can learn from Pietro Belluschi, was his humilty and his conviction to meld his architecture to the buildings and urban scape around them, ie, the "context", that most overused and under appreciated word.

Look at the Masonic Temple, the Fritsch building, and compare the Art Museum to it. You will immediately note the that both buildings share a similar composition, symetry, massing, relationship of wall to opening, base walls framing the building, window trim, flat cornicelike treatement and wall surfaces in brick and stone.

While Belluschi's building may have seemed radical in realtionship to the neo-georgian style the Museum Board sought, it is not out of step with the basic stylistic attitude of its neighbor. Rather, it is very complimentary. It is for that simple reason that the two make such a great ensemble.

I wish that the renovations to the Masonic Temple had been so respectful. Ann Beha's interventions are mostly in keeping with the original, but she could not resist interjecting the horid protrusion illustrated above.

It makes me think of what is proposed to happen to Lincon Hall. The last renderings I saw had an equally agressive and inappropriate addition on the Broadway side of the building, in a place where a subtle symetrical or classically inspired gesture might be more timeless and appropriate. I am not advocating for sylistic adhearance, but for a design approach that is based in continuing an architectural dialogue rather than interupting it with a totally new language or contrary statement.

As Portland grows and infills, I would hope that architects look to the precedent of Belluschi and his peers... they created a city that had an incredible design cohesiveness.... it was not by accident or by sylistic convention, but a result of mutual respect and the relization that in the making of a city, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

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