Our walking tour season continues this summer with several new tours and some old favorites. We hope you’ll join us for some fun architectural history mixed with a little exercise. Always be sure to wear comfortable shoes and dress for the weather!
We hope you’ll join us for some architectural history mixed with a little exercise!
Downtown Portland contains an abundance of post World War II architecture by Pietro Belluschi, Michael Graves, and the world renowned firm of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. This tour explores the southern portion of the central business district. You’ll learn about the controversial and the award winners, the architects and firms that designed them, and the issues of the times that led to such dramatic changes to our built environment and skyline.
This eleven-block downtown area was first platted and donated to the City in 1852, transforming a fire break parcel into the most desirable residential area of its day –complete with schools, playgrounds, stately homes and places of worship. Come take a stroll through the groves of elms and recount some of the stories they would love to tell about the area’s history and architecture. The South Park Blocks stand alone as a place of revitalization, refreshment and cultural allure.
Thursday, June 27th is SOLD OUT!
Once a separate city from Portland, Albina has a lengthy and diverse history, and of course, some fascinating architecture. This tour explores old Albina with stories of early proprietors and its development as a railroad town, to its transformation into the heart of Portland's African-American community and the impacts of urban renewal.
Many of Portland’s most notable late 19th and early 20th century architects designed homes in this hilly National Register Historic District. The neighborhood is also known for its wonderful landscape architecture, serving as a gateway to Washington Park.
Be advised that this is a fairly strenuous walk.
The largest National Register Historic District in Portland, Irvington encompasses 583 acres and 2,800 buildings. This tour explores only a small slice of a remarkable neighborhood, including the work of notable architects like Joseph Jacobberger and Ellis Lawrence – all with the goal of providing a broader understanding of the fascinating and rich history of this one-time streetcar suburb.
The dramatic redevelopment occurring along Mississippi Avenue today is merely the latest chapter in the remarkable and unique history of this neighborhood. From electric streetcar line to redlining, this tour explores the cultural and economic changes that have shaped Boise's built environment. Tour-goers will see some of the finest examples of late-19th century working-class homes in Portland, built primarily by Scandinavian, German, and Polish immigrants, as well as some hidden architectural gems and a forgotten dance hall that once housed a temple of the Nation of Islam.
Come learn the “Checkerboard History” of Sellwood. Before it became a part of the City of Portland in 1893, Sellwood was an independent, incorporated town. That was also before changes in transportation shifted commercial and residential development. This tour takes you through a section of the original Sellwood tract where you’ll see a variety of houses and commercial buildings, dating from 1876 to the present.
This eleven-block downtown area was first platted and donated to the City in 1852, transforming a “fire break” parcel into the most desirable residential area of its day –complete with schools, playgrounds, stately homes and places of worship. Come take a stroll through the groves of elms and recount some of the stories they would love to tell about the area’s history and architecture. The South Park Blocks stand alone as a place of revitalization, refreshment and cultural allure.
A neo-baroque monastery, 19th century farmhouses, Arts & Crafts bungalows, and a vibrant streetcar era commercial district with a restored “streamline moderne” theater? It’s all in Montavilla. Walk this historic neighborhood nestled below the east slope of Mt Tabor!
What is today the Yamhill Historic District was separated from the rest of Old Town when the new Morrison Bridge was constructed in the 1950s. This tour contains fantastic 19th century cast iron buildings, as well as some of the most notable historic commercial architecture in Portland. You’ll also learn about how this one-time market area was also home to the city’s early Chinese immigrant community.
Over the last 20 years, the Pearl has been transformed from an out-dated and tired industrial area into one of Portland’s premier residential and retail districts. A century ago, the area went through a similar transformation—from a working class housing area at the edge of a marsh, to the city’s premier industrial and warehousing area. Many of Portland’s best known architects of the period designed buildings for important local and national companies. Most of these buildings remain, with their exteriors intact, and new uses inside.
Photo courtesy of Portland Archives & Records Center
This tour explores the northern portion of Downtown where you’ll look at Portland skyscrapers – from the oldest to the near-tallest and most recent. The fingerprints of iconic architect Pietro Belluschi are on five buildings on this tour, including perhaps his most famous of all. Other stops include the work of modern masters Richard Sundeleaf, Skidmore Owings & Merrill, and Zimmer Gunsul Frasca. We'll also look at three "modern" public plazas and try to figure out reasons for success or failure of those designs.
Some of Portland’s most notable architects including Emile Schacht, designed homes in Willamette Heights, an area that borders the site of the 1905 Lewis and Clark Exposition. So dress for the weather, wear comfortable shoes, and join us for a strenuous walk through the hilly-but-amazing Willamette Heights neighborhood.
Sandy Boulevard has a long history of commercial and industrial architecture with styles ranging from Brick Utilitarian to Brutalism – all with a generous supply of Streamline and Zig Zag Moderne in between. This tour takes a closer look at a surprising section of the city, an area that hosts some of the city’s most notable businesses. You’ll also see firsthand how the automobile played a major role in the form and style of 20th century architecture.
Take an enjoyable stroll back through time to examine the events, forces and players that shaped this 100-year-old + neighborhood in northeast Portland. The walk will trace a portion of the old Broadway Streetcar line as it highlights Alameda’s prolific homebuilders and styles. The stories you’ll hear will help you better understand the layers of history that give Alameda such distinction.
This tour is moderately strenuous.
Enjoy a leisurely stroll through this leafy enclave of early 20th Century homes, churches, and businesses. This National Register Historic District is Oregon’s oldest planned community and in 2009 the American Planning Association honored it as one of America’s Great Places.
Come discover this under-appreciated but charming southeast Portland neighborhood, which boasts an array of architectural styles - from English Cottage and Colonial Revival to mid-century modern and Northwest Regionalism. Starting with the "Burrell Villa," now known as the Holman Funeral Home, the tour will meander throughout Colonial Heights, highlighting both residential and religious structures as tour-goers learn about the people who developed and lived in this fantastic neighborhood.