Portland Building


This controversial 15-story building (1982) was designed by Michael Graves and catapulted the postmodern architect to celebrity status. But the blocky, pastel-colored edifice has never been popular with the people who work inside it. The city found structural problems that led to massive reconstruction works that will be underway through the end of 2019; the pastel tiles will be replaced with terra-cotta ones. While it's currently covered, at least it's somewhat green: an eco-roof was installed in 2006.

Crouched over the main doors of the Portland Building is Portlandia, an immense statue of the Goddess of Commerce, Portland's supposed patroness. Made by sculptor Raymond Kaskey, the figure is, at just over 34ft, the second-largest hammered-copper statue in the US (after the Statue of Liberty).

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Portland attractions

1. Oregon Historical Society

0.17 MILES

Along the tree-shaded South Park Blocks sits the state's primary history museum, which in 2019 unveiled a permanent 7000-sq-ft interactive exhibit that…

2. Pioneer Courthouse


Across 6th Ave from Pioneer Courthouse Square is the Pioneer Courthouse. Built in 1875, this was the legal center of 19th-century Portland. The courthouse…

3. Pioneer Courthouse Square

0.21 MILES

The heart of downtown Portland, at the heart of Portland’s retail district and the city’s transit system, is a multi-tiered brick plaza nicknamed Portland…

4. Portland Art Museum

0.23 MILES

Alongside the South Park Blocks, Portland Art Museum's excellent exhibits include Native American carvings, Asian and American art, photography and…

5. Mill Ends Park

0.27 MILES

Having the largest park (Forest Park) within city limits perhaps isn't an oddity, but having the smallest one might be. Mill Ends Park – located on the…

6. Salmon Street Springs Fountain

0.27 MILES

This photo-friendly fountain, on Salmon St near the river, cycles through computer-generated patterns. On hot days kids (and adults) take turns plunging…

7. South Park Blocks

0.31 MILES

The South Park Blocks, a 12-block-long greenway that runs through much of downtown, are a fine, leafy refuge from downtown's bustle. They host a farmers…

8. Tom McCall Waterfront Park

0.34 MILES

This popular riverside park, which lines the west bank of the Willamette River, was finished in 1978 after four years of construction. It replaced an old…