Railroad Architecture and the Northwest: Economics, Ethos, and Culture

03/07/2020 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM PT




  • $12.00  -  AHC Member Price
  • $20.00  -  General Public Price


Revised Program Date - Saturday, March 7, 2020

Railways were one of the driving forces in the settlement and urbanization of the United States. Through their station buildings, they left a profound architectural legacy on the country. Yet these buildings are more than set pieces of artistic achievement. From humble wooden depots that pioneered the concept of franchise architecture to grand urban depots displaying the power of the country's new "millionaire society," these structures embody the story of America's Gilded Age. Portland and the Pacific Northwest region include a number of fine examples of these structures, and collectively contribute to the understanding of our region's past. Alexander Benjamin Craghead joins us to share his approach to railway architecture as cultural history.

Craghead is a historian of technology, representation, and landscape, and teaches in the American Studies program at UC Berkeley. Alex's talk will place a significant emphasis on regional and local examples. You will learn about the restoration work of two of the region's grand urban stations with ties to important works of Italian architecture, as well as the miraculous, eleventh hour rescue of the oldest depot in Oregon. Culminating the presentation is a unique look at the history of Portland's landmark Union Station of 1896. The presentation is supported by numerous photographs and illustrations, including the depot photographs of award winning photographer Joel Jensen.

This talk is supported by the Center for Railroad Photography & Art, in conjunction with the After Promontory exhibit.

This program is held at the Architectural Heritage Center - 701 SE Grand Avenue. Parking is on-street (free on Saturdays) or in the parking lot on the west side of Grand Avenue between SE Yamhill and Belmont Streets - just to the north of the Urbanite. Thank you to Bolliger and Sons Insurance for sharing their lot with us for our evening and Saturday education programs.


Image: East Portland Depot (c.1885). Soucre: Library of Congress.

Neon CRM by Neon One