Like many American cities, Portland, Oregon has a bustling downtown, dotted with skyscrapers and lined with offices and all sorts of businesses. Just north, the Pearl District speaks to the city’s industrious past with the neighborhood’s warehouses and riverside factories. Elsewhere in town, Victorians and Craftsmen houses add a sparkle to residential streets, while candy-colored homes decorate the Southeast. No matter where you go, here is a list of impressive structures you can’t help but notice.
You’ll see the Romanesque Revival clock tower first, its neon signs calling passersby to “Go By Train.” Built in 1896 and beautiful inside and out, Union Station is a highlight of the Old Town neighborhood and a sight to see when visiting Portland. Or why not make it your travel port with a train trip up or down the coast to Seattle or San Francisco?
Portland Union Station, 800 NW 6th Ave, Portland, OR, USA, +1 800 872 7245
The academically inclined may want to wander southeast toward Reed College, a beautiful campus featuring a forested canyon nature preserve as well as stunning examples of Tudor-Gothic architecture. Designed by famed Portland architect A. E. Doyle, Eliot Hall was built in 1912 as the college’s arts and sciences building and now houses staff and faculty offices and classrooms.
Reed College, 3203 SE Woodstock Blvd, Portland, OR, USA, +1 503 771 1112
Among the many glistening apartment buildings lining the Willamette River, the Cosmopolitan on the Park is the tallest residential tower in Portland, and the most visually stunning. The city’s own Benson Industries designed the reflective glass curtain wall for which the building is so famous—the same kind of exterior the construction company created for New York City’s One World Trade Center.
A former federal post office that’s now home to the Pacific Northwest College of Art, the 511 Federal Building was built in 1918 and designed by American architect Lewis P. Hobart. The six-story building has housed various governmental departments over the years, but it’s most fascinating aspect has to be the walled off Shanghai tunnels in its basements—a series of passages linking local hotels and bars to the Willamette River docks.