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To Save or to Raze: SOM's Modernist Arena in Portland

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The Veterans Memorial Coliseum, a massive modernist indoor arena in Portland, Oregon, is facing the ultimate existential crisis as City Council considers a demolition, partial upgrade, or total restoration (which could cost $65M more than the project budget.) Meanwhile, a community organization called Friends of Memorial Coliseum has been mounting a strong case for preserving the structure. Their argument, now articulated in a thorough sub-three-minute video, boils down to the building's architectural and cultural significance.

Designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the 135,000-square-foot structure is supported primarily by four columns. Built in 1960, it embodies the time period's vision of "architecture of the future." As a war memorial for veterans and home to some of the most exciting Trail Blazers NBA games (it hosted the team's games between 1970 and 1995), it's also an important symbol of Portland's cultural history. Check out the full video after these photos.

· What Will the Future Hold for SOM's Modernist Arena in Portland? [ArchDaily]
· Here's the Case for Saving Michael Graves' Portland Building [Curbed]