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Thursday, September 18, 2008

When Randy Gragg's sensibilities are aroused

This is what it looks like.

Comments (20)

I'm concerned. We already have one city icon in the aerial tram - recognized around the world like the Eiffel Tower. Do we really want to screw that up? People in other countries would say, "I was planning to travel to Portland to view the tram but now that I hear of this new tower, I wonder if the tram was just hype." My favorite line is "make the city around over a million a year." It sounds like it was "around a million a year" and then it grew to "over a million a year." So that could be the first time the phony BS numbers went up DURING the sentence.

Mr B

You never cease to amaze me at the breadth and scope of material you scour looking for interesting tidbits to amuse us with. I mean really, Portland Spaces. Shoot, I had never even heard of it before today.

Keep up the great work.

An avid reader and fan in Salem

Um, yeah can we not copy Seattle's needle and just leave the site seeing to Portland City Grill? Seriously, leave waterfront park alone, it is fine the way it is. Downtown doesn't need a gimick to get people to come down to it, they need actual substance.

Assuming all the business works out, 600 parking spaces, power generation and our own sustainable space needle would not be a bad addition. It's a definitely a sea-change to the concept of parking and power generation, but it'd be interested to see.

If the business numbers work out that it would produce a million a year in returns for investors, I can't see why private equity wouldn't line up behind this project. If they can come up with the money, I think Portland should give them a shot and give them an exception to the height limit restrictions.

^I agree...no city subsidy and they are willing to pay for the land...let them build their tower! I'll pay once a year to eat in the restaurant and take in the view at the top of the tower.

Waterfront Park is certainly out of the question, but there are so many places on the Willamette that could use the tourism boost from this private source. That flattened Burnside Bridgehead site wouldn't be a bad place...might actually spur additional private investment too.

Can we name it "The Cesar Chavez Tower"?

Curious, the tower design reminds me of a certain table lamp award.

But then, if it gives Porkland a leg up!

Many cities have an iconic tower, and at least this proposal has some revenue streams lined up. But let's assign some responsibility for these guarantees (read: liability and risk) before it gets a green light... Let them put their money where their mouth is.

I dunno... I think I like the design.

Does RG have a "personal size problem"?
Or is this just another example of how the city is going to scr*w the taxpayers for an "iconic experience" again?
How about big and bold for the education of the children of the city, or fixing the pot holes, or just about anything else that would directly benefit the citizens of our fair city?

I'm sorry but that thing is an f-ing obscenity. Everything about it is WRONG! I do like the the boat storage thing on the eastside though because it serves a necessary function and it's proportional and appropriate to it's location. If you want a great view of the city take a hike or drive up to Washington Park, Mt. Tabor, etc.

Gods above, I hate modern day architects. Some say that here hasn't been a tasteful building with style put up in this country in many a decade, and the, um, erection of this hideous rainbow phallus would prove this theory beyond any possible doubt.

Whatever happened to the idea of solid, purposeful structures, refined and with class, like Portland's old hotels ? Or the many downtown buildings with iron facades ?

One good thing about the awful economic news lately...perhaps talentless "architects" like this one will be prevented from despoiling our downtown with their godawful, tacky, sublimated sexual fantasies.

Say what you will about that Luddite, James Kunstler. I happen to agree with him about two things...the economic necessity of gritty, polluted, crime-ridden heavy-rail industrial waterfronts in cities like Portland, and the death of style in American architecture. This tasteless fop's wet dream would surely deserve a place of honor on his "Eyesore of the Month" page.

It just hit me! Its a DNA strand!!

Three things driving this:
1) Architects go to the same schools, read the same books/mags, hang out with each other and all think the same
2) Sam wants his own monument since Vera got PGE Park and the way under-used (at least by observation) floating sidewalk
3) Our ego needs a bigger needle than Seattle's
I expect the potholes will grow and the schools get lousier meanwhile

the way under-used (at least by observation) floating sidewalk

Wrong-o, Steve. The needles, beer cans, and shopping cart jetsam prove to me that Vera's monument is heavily used.

Portland, the city that envies, needs this to help it further pretend to be big league and cosmopolitan.
And despite the delusions and fraud coming from city "officials" neither this tower nor the CC hotel will bring in the convention business imagined.
Just as prime river front property and a tram would never trigger a biotech cluster in SoWa.

Hey, the Sunsphere really helped to pull in tourist dollars to Knoxville, Tenn....uhhh, nevermind.

I don't think Randy is dreaming nearly big enough, here.

- How about putting condos on the very top of that tower?

- Or perhaps a street car can run up one side of the tower and then down the other side to give everyone a view of the city and public access to the tower.

- Or maybe it could be a combo tower and bridge. When people want to walk across the river, the tower would bend across the river and act as a bridge. But when a boat wanted to move up the river, it would turn back into a tower.

Come on, Randy. Portland is a world-class city. So let's think world-class.

Lord, almighty is that thing ever ugly.

Maybe I'm too parochial, but when I was reading the comments about it, some of the high-flying prose (one commenter called it "Eiffel-tower like", my eyes glazed over and I got a taste of the old fight-or-flight instinct.

Well, it would have one thing in common with the Eiffel Tower ... everyone would hate it at first.

We could call that the Awful Tower.

It's the obvious joke, but I'm throwing that one out there.

That's the prettiest dead mule leg I've ever seen...

We used to have these big tower-like structures in Oregon that drew tourists from all over the world. Plus, they collected carbon from the atmosphere and had all sorts of "smart" ecological benefits. I can look out of my window at the Coast Range and even see where large groups of them were once located.

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