Portland's Urban Landscape: History and Design (May 2017)


Portland's Urban Landscape: History and Design (May 2017)


How to Read and Understand the Built Environment

Portland has been the scene of successive projects intended to shape what it means to be a modern American city. This course features 4 walking conversations on our urban landscape and how Portland came to look the way it does.

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Wednesdays, May 3 - 24 || 6:30-8:00pm
Location changes each week
$99 || 8 Student minimum; 25 maximum

Taught by John Doyle

Week One: The Waterfront, Bridges and the Portland Plan. Portland's initial planning and development was haphazard at best. This changed in the 1960s with the initiation of The Portland Plan, intended as a blueprint for all future growth. This walk along Naito Pkwy and Waterfront Park will explore the first hundred years of our cityscape.

Meeting Point: SW corner of SW Naito and Morrison

Week Two: The South Park Blocks. Originally a fire break on the western edge of the city the South Park Blocks morphed into Portland's first "millionaire's row' before becoming the urban oasis it is today. Now known as the home of cultural, religious and educational institutions the South Park Blocks tell a rich and surprising history of urban growth.

Meeting Point: Oregon Historical Society front steps SW Madison and park

Week Three: The Portland Center. Most Portlanders have enjoyed a summer afternoon at the Keller Fountain but few are aware that the Keller is just one of four fountains connected by walkways and designed in conjunction with numerous building. This innovative and award winning collaboration in urban and environmental design may be the city's finest monument to 20th Century planning.

Meeting Point: SW 4th and Lincoln

Week Four: The Pearl District. Once little more than barren train yards and derelict commercial building The Pearl District is now one of the city's principle destinations for Portlanders and tourists alike. But how was this transformation completed and in your opinion has it been successful?

Meeting Point: NW corner of NW 10th and Marshall

John Doyle has an M.A. in Art History from Tufts University and is a former Education Department lecturer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. One of our most popular instructors, he teaches PUGS art history and Portland architecture.