Contrasts in Time

One of my favorite areas of Portland is the Brewery Blocks district.  For those of you not familiar with Portland,  Henry Weinhard purchased the current site in downtown Portland on Burnside St., one of Portland’s main arteries in 1864, where the City Brewery stood.  By 1908 he had completed a new brewery on the same site, much of which still stands today.  The brewery had a long eventful history, for example during prohibition, they switched to producing low alcohol (<0.5%) beer and sodas.  You can still buy Henry Weinhard Root Beer in supermarkets today.

In early 2002, the site was sold for redevelopment which was completed in November 2002, leaving the complex that exists today, a mixture of shops, restaurants and offices.  The brewery is a Portland landmark and is in the National Historic Register, so much of the original building was retained and now forms a contrasting architecture with the new additions.

It is nice to see the outlines of fading murals depicting products and services from a bygone age.  I also see some modern additions which capture the essence of the original area.  You can find an example under your feet as you walk around the area by keeping an eye out for the man hole covers from Portland General Electric.  Keep an eye out the next time you are in the area for other contrasts of old and new and I hope this example of responsible redevelopment influences many more similar results.  I have shared a few of my favorite images below, enjoy!

The Original Brewery


Renewal Redesign


Old Entry New Entry


The New Man Hole Cover Beauty Under Foot

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