ANOTHER RECENT ARCHITECTURAL ICON UNDER ATTACK. I have posted about the destruction, surprising to me, of buildings that were considered to be major architectural achievements when I was younger. For example, I posted here about the destruction of the Southwark Towers in London, which had been built in the 1970’s. Tastes had changed. I quoted an editorial in the Financial Times which called it â€œa monstrous carbuncle on the face of the cityâ€.
This wikipedia entry calls the Portland Building, designed by Michael Graves “an icon of postmodern architecture…the first major postmodern building…” The building opened in 1982. The building has been subject to extensive criticism. The wikipedia entry says: “The building’s failings are the subject of much humor and contempt by the civil servants who work there, who describe it as cheaply built and difficult to work in.”
As this article in the Oregonian by Rebecca Koffman reports, in October 2014, only 32 years after the building opened, there was fierce public debate on the issue of whether to spend $95 million to refurbish the building or over $350 million to tear it down and build something new.