Tuesday, September 02, 2014

The Burnside Rocket

Our next installment in the new tracking-down-murals project is The Burnside Rocket, a collection of mural panels by various artists on the building of the same name at 1111 E. Burnside. Its RACC description:

This mural is a collection of 24 - 6’ x 4’ panels curated by Ruth Ann Brown. Each of the 24 panels on the building facade collectively represent the historic identity of the Central Eastside Industrial District (CEID) as a place of burgeoning artistic production. Each artist was chosen for their quality of work, diligence, and ongoing commitment to making art in Portland.

If the name sounds familiar, you might be thinking of Rocket, a short-lived restaurant that opened here with great fanfare and critical acclaim in 2007, only to close about a year later as the global economy cratered. The building itself was in the news a lot too, as the city's Bureau of Planning & Sustainability was heavily involved in the project, and therefore it's got the inevitable LEED Platinum certification, and various cutting-edge sustain-o-licious features. Even the mural panels are sustain-o-licious, as they double as movable exterior window shades. They're also supposed to be swapped out every 3-5 years, providing an ongoing showcase for emerging local artists. Or at least that was the original plan when the building went in. I don't know whether they're actually doing this or not.

Long story short, despite the name there are no actual rockets here, or even pictures of rockets, so the story isn't quite as cool as Seattle's Fremont Rocket (which isn't a real rocket either, but it at least kind of looks like one). I do have some photos of actual rockets, though, in case you're interested: The Atlas V rocket that launched the Curiosity Mars rover; the Minotaur V rocket that launched the LADEE moon probe; and a bunch of vintage 1960s rockets st the NASA visitor centers at Kennedy Space Center and at Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Including an unused ginormous Saturn V. You probably weren't asking; I get that. I just happened to have a bunch of rocket-related tourist photos lying around, and it seemed like as good time as any to dust them off.

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