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Portland History and Architectural Forensics

This series of four walking tour seminars imparts observational skills that will educate you on the city's history, architectural development and urban growth from the period of its founding right up to the present moment. Class discussions will range from classic Portland buildings styles to the latest trends in contemporary architecture, economic sustainability and issues surrounding neighborhoods in transition.

Portland History and Architectural Forensics

Taught by John Doyle M.A.


Saturdays, Oct. 8th - 29th
10:00-11:30 am, rain or shine!
Four weeks, $100. Space limited to 25 students.

Portland History and Architectural Forensics is a series of four walking tour seminars designed to impart observational skills that will educating you on the city's history, architectural development and urban growth from the period of its founding right up to the present moment.

Buildings and monuments are vestiges of the past that give us insight into the lives, priorities and economic life of previous Portlanders. Class discussions will range from classic Portland buildings styles to the latest trends in contemporary architecture, economic sustainability and issues surrounding neighborhoods in transition.

Week 1: DOWNTOWN, LOG CABINS TO ROMANESQUE REVIVAL
Meets in Waterfront Park, at the intersection of SW Naito Pkwy. & SW Pine St.
We will explore the foundation of Portland before 1900 by discussing the architectural styles, commercial developments and personalities who transformed Portland from a frontier settlement into the largest city in the Pacific Northwest.

Week 2: ALBINA & EAST PORTLAND, THEN  & NOW
Meets next to the White Eagle Saloon, at the intersection of N. Russell St. & North Mississippi Ave.
Until 1891, these were autonomous east side cities, independent from Portland. Our walk along Russell Street will explore the rich cultural, architectural and commercial history of a neighborhood which is now ground zero for the "gentrification" controversy.

Week 3: DOWNTOWN, 20th CENTURY
Meets in Waterfront Park, at the intersection of SW Naito Pkwy. & SW Washington St.
How did a white city of classically-inspired, glazed terra cotta transition into Modernism, Post Modernism and contemporary design? We'll discuss Pietro Belluschi's and John Yeon's efforts to put Portland at the vanguard of American architecture.

Week 4: GREENER PASTURES, RIVER VIEW CEMATARY
Meets at River View Cemetery, 0300 SW Taylors Ferry Rd.
A walk through the west coast's premiere rural cemetery (and the city's greatest hidden green space) provides the perfect opportunity to synthesize history, nature, philosophy and urban planning in Portland.


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. 

Image via U.S. Library of Congress