The transit mall is still new and clean, construction on the first MAX light rail line is a couple years off. Pioneer Courthouse Square, though having just been declared dead by the city council, would soon be resurrected by proceeds from commemorative bricks. Nordstrom opened a large new store four years ago. A few blocks south, the internationally famous Portland Building was nearing completion. The New Theatre Building (PCPA) is planned. The Galleria has opened to rave reviews. The early 80s was an exceptionally exciting and dynamic time for downtown Portland as hundreds of millions of dollars in public and private investment poured in to build the regional amenities and destinations which we now take for granted.
Interesting fact: the US Department of Interior granted $1.2 million ($3.5M 2016 USD) towards the $7.8M ($17M 2016) Pioneer Courthouse Square project.
Corner of SW 5th and Morrison. March, 1981. Of all the pictures I have scanned, this picture has to be my fave. A lot of characters in this shot.
Though roughly planned since 1975, Pioneer Square had many near death experiences as this article from January 6, 1981 explains.
Pioneer Courthouse Square as it appeared shortly after completion in 1986. The original intent of the pavillion was for a cafe but all tenents failed until 1989 when Starbucks opened it’s 40th location here. Photo by Steve Morgan.
PCS today. Note the addition of one floor to the Nordstrom building and alterations to fountain.
Classic early 80’s Nordstrom ad. Oregonian, 2/9/1981
They really need to bring back this logo for something. Oregonian, 2/9/1982
Rollerskates!~ Even back in disco’s dieing days, Nordstrom exuded an air of sophisticated advertising restraint. The Oregonian, 2/12/1981
A fun article trumpeting the rebirth of downtown and many future speculative developments. Oregonian, 2/1/1981
A close-up of the map.
What the hell is this advertising? Oregonian, 2/1/1981
A full-page ad in the Oregonian haralds a sale on all Huk-a-Poo and Robert Bruce. Oregonian, 1/7/1981
In contrast to Nordstrom, Meier & Frank showcased an amazing lack of brand disipline deploying at least 13 distinct logos over it’s 149-year existance.
5th and Morrison. The Oregonian. Published on: April 8, 1981
Painting of Same corner. “Old Meier Frank” by Gene Gill.
1980. The process of Will Martin’s colorful painted design of Pioneer Courthouse Square that gave the public a sense of what was to come. Photo: Bruce Forster
1980. Photo: Bruce Forster
Elevated view of the two story parking structure that was demolished to make way for Pioneer Courthouse Square. Photo: Bruce Forster