Where We Live: Portland’s skyline

Park Avenue West Tower is set to open in January

The Portland skyline, with the KOIN Tower on the right, December 2014 (KOIN 6 News)
The Portland skyline, with the KOIN Tower on the right, December 2014 (KOIN 6 News)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A city’s skyline is a big part of its identity, and Portland’s skyline is about to change as its newest skyscraper gets closer to completion.

Portland's newest skyscraper, Park Avenue West Tower, is set to open in January. (KOIN)
Portland’s newest skyscraper, Park Avenue West Tower, is set to open in January. (KOIN)

At 504 feet tall and 30 stories high, the Park Avenue West Tower built by TMT Development will be the fourth tallest building in Portland, and an impressive addition to the city’s skyline.

So, what are the top 3 tallest buildings in Portland? Number 3 is the KOIN Center where KOIN 6 News is broadcast everyday. Number 2 is ‘big pink’ — the U.S. Bancorp Tower. The tallest building in Portland is the Wells Fargo Center at 546 feet tall.

But as far as skyscrapers go, Wells Fargo is in the minor leagues. It’s less than 1/3 the size of America’s tallest skyscraper, One World Trade Center in New York City, which is dwarfed by the tallest skyscraper in the world — the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. The Burj Khalifa is an astounding 209 stories and stands more than 2,700 feet high.

However, Portlanders shouldn’t have an inferiority complex. Our city’s picturesque skyline is designed to be modest. The city has height limits to preserve views and keep building footprints from overwhelming downtown streets.

So, unless the rules change, Wells Fargo will stay number one.

Park Avenue West Tower is set to open in January. The law firm Stoel Rives will take up 10 floors of the building, with other tenants including retail spaces and apartments. Its completion is truly a comeback story, after construction on the tower was halted for 4 years until the economy improved.

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