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PDX5033

The need of a new skyline Icon

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Right now the city is all about street level activity. If you notice all the current projects in the downtown area are no taller than 25-stories. When you look at the skyline, what is the 1st thing you notice? For me it's the Koin Center and then the horrid Wells Fargo Tower. The skyline needs a new icon in the worst way.

I was browsing several sites and came across some projects that never got past the planning stages, mainly due to financial issues. This type of building, height would be perfect in downtown Portland.

09.jpg

Just an idea, i'm dyin' for a new icon for the Rose City.

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I like that building, however, I would prefer to have many midrises 15-25 stories and great street level activity rather then a couple of mega-scrapers with no street level activity.

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In my opinion what it is important is density and vibrancy. I'm not that concerned about building height. Just take a look at Europe. Most European cities don't have tall skyscrapers but are still iconic.

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I have to disagree with the whole notion that Portland doesn't have a postcard skyline. It looks great to me. Be careful what you wish for. :thumbsup:

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Right now the city is all about street level activity. If you notice all the current projects in the downtown area are no taller than 25-stories. When you look at the skyline, what is the 1st thing you notice? For me it's the Koin Center and then the horrid Wells Fargo Tower. The skyline needs a new icon in the worst way.

I was browsing several sites and came across some projects that never got past the planning stages, mainly due to financial issues. This type of building, height would be perfect in downtown Portland.

09.jpg

Just an idea, i'm dyin' for a new icon for the Rose City.

I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU 100%

i have always thought we need somthing taller to make it awsome, i hate seattle so much cause they got taller buildings we need taller buildings!!!

That building looks awsome.

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I agree that street level and density should be priority. However, A 40+story building wouldn't hurt that. I'm not saying lets build 5+ skyscrapers, I'm just saying 1 or 2 would be great for the city and the skyline. It would balance it out. There are some pretty big gaps between Big Pink and the Koin/Wells Fargo towers.

In a recent article (Portlandonline I believe) the city wants to build 4,100 more condo units in the downtown area. The bigger condo units we have currently being built (John Ross, block 38, ect) hold no more than 300. Building a 40+story tower wouldn't be out of the question if you ask me.

I'm not sure what style of buildings the Design Commish wants in the area, but I think a building like the Nicollet (thenicollet.com) would be great.

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In regards to comparing Portland as 'european', here is an article from the NY Times:

The South Waterfront District, which consists of 130 acres on abandoned industrial land, is the biggest redevelopment project in Portland history. Construction is under way in the first neighborhood, the $2 billion Central District, covering 31 acres. When the entire project is completed, South Waterfront will include 5,000 residents, along with restaurants and retail shops, and a new campus for the Oregon Health and Science University, which is about two miles above the site in Marquam Hill.

In 1993, city leaders decided to invest in the country's first modern streetcar line. The goal was to spur development in the Pearl District, a former warehouse neighborhood that has become a national model for urban revitalization. In 1996, after a California developer tried unsuccessfully to build a gated community on the languishing South Waterfront property, city planners rezoned the site for another high-density, mass-transit oriented neighborhood.

"We were pretty clear about what we wanted to achieve in redevelopment," said Charlie Hales, a transportation consultant and former Portland city commissioner. "The best European city in America."

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With Portland being such a great place to visit, Im kind of surprised there hasn't been any mention of any condotels -- I would think they would be pretty successful in the city.

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If I remember right, the proposed Broadway Tower (apparently would be the largest tower in Portland) is a mix use of Condos and a Hotel. It would be great to see 'The W' hotel come to Portland.

Minneapolis has some great Condo/Motel towers going up, I too think these would be a success in Portland.

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While checking around, I couldn't find a single condotel in Portland. Perhaps there may be some small developments in the works that aren't front page media material. However, I did stumble on this article,

http://www.hotel-online.com/News/PR2004_4t...otelFrenzy.html

which kind of talks about the condotel from the developer's perspective. Its pretty interesting, albeit it doesn't mention Portland directly. One point that they do make is that for a condotel to suceed, is that the hotel portion must be sucessful.

So I guess, Portland wont see this type of development, unless the hotels themselves are doing quite well.

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Actually, there are plans to put a few condotels in the pearl district. The Oregonian Article " Polishing the Pearls Northern Edge" there is a proposed 325' Codo/Hotel tower (not far from the Metropolitan Tower).

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pdx5033 -- is there an online article about that development?

I wonder what kinda of costs they'll have and what hotel will run it. Thanks for the heads up on that, it'll be interesting to see how well it does.

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I guess I don't see the fascination with really tall buildings. I think Portland has a very nice skyline. The important thing is does Portland have good street level activity, is it vibrant and is it dense. Portland is all of these things.

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Here are some renderings of the waterfront projects. The tallest building in this rendering is the 325' condo/hotel

pearlrender-1.jpg

hsp_rendering.jpg

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Reviving this thread as I'm visting Portland in 2 weeks... doesn't Portland have a height limit now? I seem to recall reading that after the Wells Fargo disaster, the city decided to limit heights.

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Im not aware of any specific height limits, but I do know they are pretty stringent with how a building will affect the city in terms of its size and how it effects the sun and if it will block it during certain parts of days, parks, etc.

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The central city has several zones -ranging from commercial mixed-use to residential mixed-use. But there is a central city plan district that supercedes the base zoning. Within the central city plan district there are height limits ranging from 75 feet to 275 feet. Some sub-districts have provisions for development bonuses in area and/ or height. Development rights can also be transfered from a historic structure to another site; or from an abutting non-historic site to a project site.

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Portland doesn't need a super-scraper to prove its identity or have a postcard skyline, but I'm not opposed to having a supertall either.

Having visited so many cities in this nation, its certainly true that cities with tall skyscrapers don't have necessarily the urban fabric to be a good city. There are examples all over the place, and fortunately Portland is not one of them.

The waterfront is simply an amazing project. Its more intense than other cities entire downtown residential developments in this population range. And in Portland, the waterfront is simply the newest, biggest neighborhood of many other success stories each with their individual character.

SoWa even lends to the European feel because its ultra-modern architecture and super clean feel will sit within a context of historic neighborhoods like the Pearl and the CBD.

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