Dismantling of Portland Building underway


Docomomo US/OR


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Earlier this week members of Docomomo US/Oregon and others posted pictures of the Portland Building's facade being dismatled. This follows the demolition of the lobby of Philip Johnson's AT&T Building lobby in New York City. Both the Portland Building and Philip Johnson's AT&T building in New York are arguably the two most important examples of Post Modernism, yet both are facing the same fate.


Warning: the images below are not for the faint of heart.

The preservation approach for this building is precedent setting, and unfortunately the contempt for the aesthetics of post modernism (or perhaps the misunderstanding of post modernism entirely) clearly drove the "preservation" approach. While City Council's vote to approve the project was expected, the Historic Landmarks Commission's initial conditional approval of the project was a blow to historic preservation efforts for modern and post-modern resources, offering a truly troubling perspective that even buildings that have reached the higher bar of meeting National Register criteria before the age of 50 can be treated as less important than buildings of stone or terra cotta. The historic status of the iconic Post-Modern building is threatened due to the exterior modifications (the entire façade will be covered in metal paneling). NPS has said it will more than likely remove the building from the National Register due to the exterior modifications.


“Postmodernism is a freewheeling, unfettered, and unapologetic pursuit of style.”

– Ada Louise Huxtable


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Portlandia protected for renovation


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