Saturday, December 14, 2013

Will Martin Hat, Pioneer Courthouse Square

Here are a couple of photos of the little bronze hat atop the fountain in Pioneer Courthouse Square. Extra credit Portland points are awarded if you've ever noticed the hat, decided to be a do-gooder and take it to Lost and Found, only to discover it's not a real hat. (This actually happened to me a few years ago, the first time I noticed the hat.) The hat was added to the square circa 1999, and honors Will Martin, the square's late designer. Martin died in 1985, when the vintage aircraft he was piloting crashed in the Grand Canyon. The square had been open to the public for just over a year at that point.


A September 1999 Oregonian article mentions that the hat had been stolen recently. I couldn't find a follow up article, but obviously it was either recovered or replaced at some point. The article mentions that the hat had been cast from Martin's actual hat, somehow, which cost about $1800. That's the closest I've come to finding title or artist info for the thing. I can see it not having an official title, but even if you're just doing a bronze cast of someone's hat, it seems like you still ought to be credited in some form. RACC and the other usual suspects don't say a single word about the thing, though. Feel free to leave a comment below if you know who created the hat or can tell us anything more about it. Thx. Mgmt.

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