Class, Race and the Urban Landscape: Four Walking Conversations (September 2017)


Class, Race and the Urban Landscape: Four Walking Conversations (September 2017)


From its foundation as a small, speculative settlement along the Willamette to the current gentrification and redevelopment controversies today, Portland’s urban landscape is ever-changing. Considering race and class in each gathering, this course will feature four walking conversations on the built environment of our urban landscape and how Portland came to look the way it does. Leave the course with a richer understanding of Portland’s history and the ability to further investigate how race, class, and urban development have been shaped into what it is today.

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Saturdays, September 9, 16, 23, and 30 || 10:00-11:30am
Location changes each week
$99 || 8 Student minimum; 25 maximum

Taught by John Doyle

Want to learn how the physical and social landscape of Portland came to be? Join other Portlanders exploring the history of Portland's racial and class history through the urban environment. 

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: Albina. Until 1891 Albina was an independent city from Portland. Our walk along Russell St and Williams Ave will explore the rich cultural, architectural and commercial history of a neighborhood which is now ground zero for the gentrification and redevelopment controversy. Meeting Point, next to the White Eagle Saloon, at the intersection of N. Russell St. & North Mississippi Ave.

What previous students have to say about John and his courses:

"John Doyle's knowledge of the architecture of Portland is very impressive and his ability to make it interesting and accessible is excellent. I really enjoyed walking around with our class and interacting with John and my classmates. Being able to get up close and personal to the various sites made it much more rewarding than an in-class presentation could have been."

"John's depth of knowledge and passion for the subject matter is infectious!"

"John has a nice way of including everyone in the conversation so that even those who said they had no prior art history experience contributed interesting insights. That's a gift."

"John's course was a really fun, invigorating, but low pressure way to learn and meet peers."

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.