Monday, October 11, 2010

Union Bank of California Tower

A few photos of the Union Bank of California Tower in downtown Portland. It's a bit more obscure than the last few buildings I've done posts about, but it's one of my favorite buildings in town. That may be a minority opinion; I've heard more than one person go on about how ugly it is and how much they hate it. It's fair to say 1960s modernism is an acquired taste. And it's also fair to say that the building doesn't really exist in harmony with its surroundings. I think we can take that as a given. And if you evaluate it by the city's present-day urbanist ideals, it doesn't rate highly: It's set way back from the street, has nothing resembling street-level retail space, basically only has a street presence at all on the side facing Broadway, etcetera. That's not really in dispute either. But it's also an interesting building, and pleasing to the eye. To me anyway. Your mileage may vary.

Other tidbits from across the interwebs:
  • The bank's previous (much smaller) location, aka the Bidwell Building, is nearby and interesting in its own right.

  • Wikipedia's list of the tallest buildings in town puts it at #17, and mentions that it was once #1 for a very brief period in 1969-1970.

  • Great post about it at Yamabushi mon amour. The post mentions that a short film was made about the building a few years back, but that film is apparently no longer on the net anywhere.

  • Oh, and what's a post here without links to other people's Flickr photos?

    [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11]
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