Portland praised in new 'Midcentury Modern Architecture Travel Guide' (photos) – OregonLive.com

You drive by a contemporary constructing and it stops you in your tracks. You examine it after which surprise: Who was the architect? When was it constructed? What's the remainder of the story?

If the construction is critical and in Portland, Seattle, Palm Springs or San Francisco, it is likely to be included in the new e-book, "Mid-Century Modern Architecture Travel Guide: West Coast USA" by Sam Lubell with images by Darren Bradley (Phaidon, $35).

The graphically partaking, reality-crammed flexibound e-book is straightforward to take with you wherever you go.

Portland is effectively represented with Saul Zaik's elevated, eight-sided Zidell Home at 2800 SW Fairmount Blvd. and Pietro Belluschi's glass-and-aluminum 1948 Equitable Constructing (Commonwealth Constructing) at 421 SW sixth Ave. Each are simple to see from the road and Zaik's Zidell Home is an Airbnb rental.

Much less accessible buildings are described, too, like John Yeon's U-formed 1937 Watzek House, which is sometimes open for excursions.

The e-book's intent is for us to expertise Modernist buildings, whether or not close by or a part of travels. A fantastic instance is the fascinating, semi-round Mount Angel Library, designed by architect Alvar Aalto in Saint Benedict.

"I nearly fainted after I entered the library," stated creator Lubell throughout an entertaining discuss on Saturday, Feb. 18, in Palm Springs, California, which was a part of Modernism Week. "It is about development, an astonishing architectural expertise."

Different Pacific Northwest icons like Frank Lloyd Wright's solely constructing in Oregon, the 1957 Gordon House, which was moved to Silverton subsequent the Oregon Garden, the Seattle's Space Needle and the highest-heavy Rainier Tower are included, however Lubell and Bradley went to nice extent so as to add lesser-know works.

In the course of the Palm Springs discuss on the Ace Hotel & Swim Club, Bradley described scaling hillsides, sliding down slopes and standing in rain and snow to seize lots of the 250 pictures to signify every vacation spot throughout a highway journey up the West Coast.

Lubell, the previous West Coast editor of The Architect's Newspaper, countered that his job to jot down the 384-page e-book required much less bodily put on and tear.

Lubell and Bradley pared an inventory of 900 buildings down earlier than they hit the highway. However then they might occur upon an fascinating wanting exterior and discover the inside.

If they might, a few of these "hidden gems" by unheralded architects had been included, such because the 1960 University Unitarian Church in Seattle, which Lubell claims has the biggest assortment of Eames Shell chairs as an alternative of picket pews.

"Church buildings are sometimes probably the most preserved midcentury fashionable buildings," stated Lubell, who added that sanctuaries are designed to "instill awe" and "have a light-weight present."

- Janet Eastman


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Portland praised in new 'Midcentury Modern Architecture Travel Guide' (photos) - OregonLive.com