Landmark sights in Pacific Northwest
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Standing apart from the rest of Seattle's skyscrapers, the needle is the city's undisputed modern symbol. Built for the World's Fair in 1962, it was the highest structure in Seattle at the time, topping 605ft, though it has since been easily usurped. Visitors make for the 520ft-high observation station with a revolving restaurant.
This notoriously controversial 15-story building was designed by Michael Graves and catapulted the postmodern architect to celebrity status. People working inside the blocky, pastel-colored edifice, however, have had to deal with tiny windows, cramped spaces and a general user-unfriendliness. The Portland Building suffered from major design flaws that later proved very costly to fix. Not a great start for what was considered to be the world's first major postmodern structure; at least it's been made somewhat green with an eco roof installed in 2006.
Towering above the main doors of the Portland Building is Portlandia, an immense statue of the Goddess of Commerce,…
The heart of downtown Portland, this brick plaza is nicknamed 'Portland's living room' and is the most visited public space in the city. When it isn't full of hackysack players, sunbathers or office workers lunching, the square hosts concerts, festivals, rallies, farmers markets – and even summer Friday-night movies (aka 'Flicks on the Bricks'; details at www.pioneercourthousesquare.org/calendar).
One of Portland's grandest Victorian hotels once stood here, but it fell into disrepair and was torn down in 1951. Later the city decided to build Pioneer Courthouse Square, and grassroots support resulted in a program that encouraged citizens to buy and personalize the bricks…