Thresholds and the Liminal: A Tale of Three Portland Landmarks

01/25/2020 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM PT




  • $20.00  -  General Public
  • $12.00  -  AHC Members


When we say "threshold" we usually think of that physical crossing one steps over while moving from one place to another. A threshold, however, might also be a point of departure as we move from one architectural era to another, and in doing so, find new and even different interpretations. Liminal, refers to that place of betweeness, beyond the threshold, that gives us a momentary break from the ordinary. This break allows us to explore new territories and ideas.

In the case of Portland, three architectural styles represent unique periods in the city's architectural history and exemplify the new ideas of their time. The Richardsonian Romanesque, the Secessionist Movement, and Modernism are represented in Portland through landmark buildings, each of which tells a story about its time and place, but also where it came from, and where it might lead us. Collectively they also represent that pause which allows us to contemplate the meaning of architecture through the liminal.

AHC education committee member and walking tour docent Bob Hermanson, joins us for this engaging and thought-provoking talk. Bob is a retired professor of architecture and has previously presented at the AHC on architecture in film and on architect Alvar Aalto.


This lecture 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 Urbanite. Thank you to Bolliger and Sons Insurance for sharing their lot with us for our evening and Saturday education programs.

Image: Left to right - the Dekum, Sentinel Hotel, and Commonwealth (Equitable) buildings.

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