Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Discoveries in the Lloyd District of Portland: Art, history and food with a view

On a Positively Portland Walking Tour, I learned about the history of the Lloyd District in Portland, found a few remnants of Portland’s past and learned that the Lloyd District is slated to become Portland’s eastside downtown.

Interesting sculptures can be found at
Holladay Park adjacent to Lloyd Center Mall in Portland
You probably know the Lloyd District as the locale of the Lloyd Center Mall and Moda Center sports complex. But what was the area used for before urban renewal and the razing of the area for freeways? It was slated to be an upscale east-side neighborhood. And, it was home to many Portland families.

The Lloyd District is named after Ralph Lloyd (1875–1953), a California rancher, oilman, and real estate developer who moved to Portland and started the development of the area.

We began our walking tour at the small but vibrant Holladay Park adjacent to Lloyd Center Mall.

The MAX light rail line stops at the park so it made for a convenient start to our explorations.
This park is named after Benjamin Holladay (1819-1887), known to many as an unethical businessman. Holladay also worked to develop the area. He came to Portland to get into the railroad business. He also built two large hotels in the area where the park bearing his name is now located.

Much of the area was demolished due to freeway development and the construction of tall office and residential buildings but there are a few historic gems to see. Pointed out to us was the Holy Rosary Catholic Church, a historic place of worship once nestled in a community of single-family homes. The church actually was moved by horses and rolling logs to the current location in 1893 after a neighborhood dispute arguing that no gathering places such as churches should be built in their area.

Holy Family Church
back at the Lloyd District history continued as we walked past the amazing “Mission Revival” building that once was the home of the William E. Field Tile Company. The Spanish style tiles adorned the building which houses various shops including a delightful Chocolate shop. While Mission Revival, or California style architecture seems out of place in the Pacific Northwest, you’ll find the style dotted throughout Portland. It seems as though it was “the thing to do” in the 1920’s.

Our architectural tour took us into the present with a walk by the striking Jorge Pardo sculpture which provides shelter with a “rainy on the outside, sunny on the inside” experience for those waiting for the streetcar. For some reason, the shelter reminded me of a mid-century modern design... the orange, perhaps? The bright colors will certainly lift the spirits of those seeking shelter on a rainy Portland day.

Jose Pardo functional art. My favorite sighting of the day.
We also went by the Coliseum and Moda Center stopping to comment on the architecture and reflecting on the importance of both buildings.

The tour ended with a look at the recently opened Hotel Eastlund offering boutique accommodations within blocks of the Oregon Convention Center and the Moda Center on Portland’s east side. The hotel's airy lobby was decorated in mid-century modern with pops of color, especially orange.

Altabira at Hotel Eastlund... What a view!
best part of the new Hotel Eastlund is Altabira, the rooftop bar and restaurant with a fantastic view of the Convention Center glass towers and the city of Portland beyond. Excellent sandwiches and an Oregon brew brought the morning to a close.

More Information

Hotel Eastlund
1021 NE Grand Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97232
Phone: 503.235.2100