Like It or Loathe It, a Postmodern Icon Remains Controversial After Thirty Years

Writing on the thirtieth anniversary of the completion of the Portland Building, design by Michael Graves, Reed Jackson reports on the passions that the building still stirs.

1 minute read

February 24, 2012, 11:00 AM PST

By Jonathan Nettler @nettsj


Jackson considers the National Register listed building's impact on Portland, Michael Graves' career, and the world of architecture, since it won a city-sponsored design competition. Although its impact is without doubt, its reputation remains in flux to this day.

"The controversial structure...has been declared both an architectural atrocity and a brilliant piece of innovation. Some people criticize its small windows and low ceilings, while others laud it as the spark that started the postmodernism architecture movement."

While some of the building's criticisms seem to bother Graves (particularly those about the interior, which he did not design), Jackson observes that Graves doesn't seem to mind the ongoing controversy, 'At least they're still talking about it,' he said.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012 in Daily Journal of Commerce

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