This is a rare re-post on pdx|cept, as a tribute to architect Michael Graves who died today at the age of 80. Graves designed the iconic Portland Building—a Portland landmark with the “Portlandia” sculpture standing above its entrance:
Portlandia is a sculpture by Raymond Kaskey located above the entrance of Michael Graves’ Portland Building at 1120 SW 5th Avenue in downtown Portland. It is the second-largest copper repoussé statue in the United States, after the Statue of Liberty. Unlike the Statue of Liberty, Portlandiamay not be reproduced for any commercial purpose without permission from the artist, and the rights to the image of Portlandia remain Kaskey’s sole property.
Installed on October 6, 1985, the statue is based on the design of the city seal. It depicts a woman dressed in classical clothes, holding a trident in the left hand and reaching down with the right hand to greet visitors to the building. The statue itself is 34 feet, 10 inches high. If standing, the woman would be about 50 feet tall.
An accompanying plaque contains a poem by Portland resident Ronald Talney:
She kneels down, and from the quietness of copper, reaches out. We take that stillness into ourselves, and somewhere deep in the earth, our breath becomes her city. If she could speak, this is what she would say: Follow that breath. Home is the journey we make. This is how the world knows where we are.