Portland Design and History Walking Tours

Explore the history of Portland’s urban landscape to better understand our city’s evolution in regards to architecture and design, as well as geographical issues of race, class, and activism. During this series of four events (choose or tackle all), we’ll explore design’s relationship with equity and social justice, and you’ll gain an ability to "read" the urban landscape in a new way.

Portland Bridges: Explore the history, design and infrastructure of Portland's Willamette River bridges, and learn about their look, their development, and their original purpose. Sunday, April 15 at 10 a.m.
Meeting at the Vera Katz statue on the Eastbank Esplanade just north of the Hawthorne Bridge.

Gentrification, Design, and Urban Development: South Portland. A neighborhood re-envisioned in the 1960s by architecture firm Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill (S.O.M.) along with landscape architect Lawrence Halprin, created a new urban model of high-rise apartments, commercial spaces, fountains, and interconnected walkways. It’s Portland's first great experiment with urban renewal and comprehensive urban planning. Sunday, April 15 at 2 p.m. Meeting at the NE corner of SW 1st Ave and Arthur St.

Modernism Comes to Portland: Belluschi, Graves, and S.O.M. Long viewed as a provincial backwater of architectural innovation, Portland sprang to the forefront of American and international design in the second half of the 20th Century. A streetscape of anachronistic cast iron and terra cotta transformed into a futuristic vision of stone, steel, glass, and concrete—home to North America’s first glass curtain wall and first major Post-Modern building anywhere in the world. Saturday, 21 at 10:00. Meeting at the NE corner of SW 3rd Ave and SW Oak St.

Gentrification, Design, and Urban Development: Albina. Founded in 1873 as an independent east side city, Albina boomed with the arrival of the transcontinental railroad. This predominantly European immigrant neighborhood became the hub of African American life in Portland, with urban renewal projects later radically transforming it. Today, it’s where the city wrestles with issues of gentrification, demolition, and what constitutes good contemporary design. Saturday, April 21 at 2 p.m. Meeting at the NW corner of N Williams Ave and N Russel St.

Popup
  • Sunday, April 15

    10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
  • Sunday, April 15

    2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
  • Saturday, April 21

    10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
  • Saturday, April 21

    2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Event Organizer

John Doyle, sole proprietor, affiliated with Architectural Heritage Center and Portland Underground Graduate School

Instructor for the Portland Underground Graduate School and volunteer for the Architectural Heritage Center. MA, Art History, Tufts.

Cost

$30

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