14 thoughts on “Keller Auditorium, 1968

  1. This is a section of Portland that has undergone massive continuous upheaval for many decades. The structure being built in the background, which looks to be a high-rise car park, appears to be no longer there today.

    All the buildings here today are densely packed high-rise glass behemoths interspersed with green space. This certainly is not one of my favorite parts of town. It’s an area you drive through on your way to work or drive to attend a special event.
    I don’t even know if I have a favorite part of town anymore. I guess Washington Park Rose Garden is my favorite spot.

  2. The building that looks like a parking garage is probably Boise Cascade being built. The truck is from the 40’s. So I’m wondering if the date of the photo is correct.

  3. I think the “high rise parking structure” was actually a work in progress. I think it’s still there – on 4th and Market – and the building just west of the Market 200 building.

  4. The truck is an International, probably an “R” series from the ’50’s. They were very durable and typically ran for a half million miles. They used a 501 cubic inch six cylinder gas engine.

  5. All part of the south auditorium Urban Renewal Area. Well done for it’s time but now you can see how dated the overall design was with super blocks etc.

  6. I disagree entirely with Ada Louise Huxtable who said about the remodeled Auditorium ” remodeled civic auditorium, a building of unrelieved blandness sauced with piped‐in music at nonperformance hours. The building now becomes background for the forecourt— a fortuitous state of affairs.”

    The remodel of the 1917 building was an unquestionable success turning a civic building that looked like Fort Knox into a light filled mid-century masterpiece. But I do agree that Halprin’s fountain is the crowning jewel on the remodel.

  7. Judy C— You are correct when the building under construction at 1600 SW 4th was opened it was named the Boise Cascade Building, but was owned by Portland Center Development Co. Boise Cascade began moving into the building in late August, 1968 and they occupied 52,000 of the 116,000 sq. ft. building.

  8. This photo looks very surreal, looks like an old B&W still from the ‘Twilight Zone’ or ‘Outer Limits’. It’s has a very dark mood. The man operating the machine is isolated at his station absorbed in his work and the truck driver is sitting all closed off in the cab of his truck almost oblivious at moments to what is happening around him.

  9. Central Catholic had their Commencement ’69 at the Civic; unfortunately Cleveland had their Commencement in the over voluminous Veterans Memorial Coliseum to much echo you could barely hear what was said over the loud speaker system.

  10. Great pic. How successful this area has been for the city as far as public usability and livability is certainly debatable, but the planners intentions were good. And the park and fountain across from the Keller is an amazing bit of urban design. It’s certainly popular on a hot day.

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