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Graves had a great talent for image making: (billboard architecture) He also brought color to the forefront of architectural design. These ideas will live on. However, experiencing his spaces in person always gave me a cold feeling.

Jeff Joslin

The challenge with the Portland Building is that it's not necessary Graves' best work, but his - and Postmodernism's - first major/public work, that makes it most historically significant. When viewed in context of all that followed (and largely catalyzed by the Building's clearly marking this form of Postmodernism as an established movement), it's less successfully materially, sculpturally, technically, spatially.

That it enabled and heralded a fleeting movement is indisputable. But is being first enough, particularly when a) there are so many extant and stronger buildings of his and b) it's clearly and continually so fundamentally technically flawed?

While it's now time to herald Michael's genuine and profound contributions, I do look forward to the continued debate about the building as icon v. architecture, and the ensuing discussion around the purpose of preservation that this work raises in a unique way..


That discussion, Icon vs Humanitarian based approach to architecture is sorely needed. Those buildings and environments that sustain human beings deserve respect and preservation. Portland Building's respect for human beings is severely limited.(note photos rarely show the experience from the user experience but only the view from an adjacent buildings 10 floor up.

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