Monthly Archives: January 2012

Portland Statues Part I

I had a chance to sketch a few of my favorite statues today. Joan of Arc in Laurelhurst, Harvey W. Scott statue at the top of Mt. Tabor and The Elk statue in downtown by Lownsdale Square. Joan of Arc holds a special place in my heart since I grew up nearby and have seen it almost every day of my life. I remember when she still had a beautiful petina (before the garish gold restoration). Does anyone remember the pumpkin that adorned her each Halloween?!

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It was a good effort, but by morning it was raining.

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I probably should have done a post about Portlandia sooner but, like many people, I forget that she exists.  Nestled above Southwest 5th Avenue, the statue is the second largest of its kind in the U.S. (after the Statue of Liberty).  Portlandia is located about five stories above a tree-lined, transit-only street and is therefore easy to miss. I realize that Raymond Kaskey designed the statue based on this location, but I always wished it was at the waterfront. Still, it’s beautiful and worth checking out- just look up!

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Mt. Tabor and Snow

I went for a hike in Mt Tabor today and was happy to see some snow on the ground! It wasn’t sticking in the lower elevations today, but that could change overnight. I didn’t have a sketchbook with me, so I’ll just post a few photos I took…

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Portland Aerial Tram

The Aerial Tram that connects the South Waterfront to OHSU (Oregon Health & Science University) is a recent addition to Portland’s infrastructure. Despite its striking design, the tram is not without major controversy (cost overruns, privacy issues, funding, corporate welfare, etc). I’ll avoid the politics of the tram’s creation and focus on its beauty.

Designed by AGPS, a firm based in Zürich and Los Angeles, the tram is probably the most striking piece of architecture built in Portland since the construction of the Oregon Convention Center’s glass towers in 1990. Each 12-ton car travels 3,300 horizontal feet and to an elevation of 500 feet.  The drive system is located at the lower station, with the counterweight cleverly hidden (in plain sight) at the upper station.  I can tell that great attention was paid to aesthetics and proportion- This is a beautiful system!

Here are my photos and sketches:

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