Portland City Hall
Member Reviews (5)
- Portland City HallMember ofBusiness TravelersLocal CultureOutdoor Enthusiasts+ 6Jul 04, 2012
After a busy week of Convention attendance and "glutinous" expense account consumption, I decided to go for a long walk and explore some of the distinct architecture that the Rose City has to offer. The Unitarian, Congregational, and Baptist Churches were interesting, as was the Portland Art Museum. My best experiences came out of "The Portland Stairs Book" by Laura O. Foster. It's a book that I'll bring back the next time I return, as it's full of cool (and well described) places to walk and explore. I focused on the "Public Spaces - Grand Staircases" Chapter which lovingly featured The Pioneer Courthouse, the Main Branch of the Multnomah Public Library, the Gerding Theater at the Armory, and Portland City Hall.
Portland City Hall is a distinctive four-story Italian Renaissance-style building that houses all the municipal offices that you would expect and a pretty cool looking rotunda-enhanced City Council chambers. It was constructed in 1895 and renovated in 1998. Besides bringing the building up to code, the renovation restored many original features, such as 2 light wells that bring daylight into interior spaces. They had been previously closed to provide office and storage space. The 4th Avenue main entrance was also to it's original beauty and purpose. 75% of the original marble floor tiles were saved and re-installed.
Two gorgeous interior staircases flank the 2 light wells and matching restored elevators help make sure that I both walked the stairs to each floor and made extra trips using both elevators. Well considered public art was well places throughout the building, and it was neat to see a staffed Oregonian bureau on the ground floor. I watched the reporter for a bit, and soon enough he led me to a chance encounter the Mayor himself - Sam Adams. However, there was no sign of Beau Breedlove.
I also entered the Council Chambers and sat briefly in one seat of Portlandia Power (Sam's Chair). But unlike a recent and similar experience at the Armory, my witnesses were all friendly, kind, and chill. At one point, a City employee came out of her office to greet me and gave me a brochure (and advice) to help me navigate better. Even Building Security was helpful and interesting to chat with.
I know that there's more going on politically than my idyllic snapshot view revealed. Yet, I couldn't help but be impressed and inspired with this "City that Works" example and the transparency that I witnessed.