U.S. Bancorp Tower
|U.S. Bancorp Tower|
Viewed from Washington Park
|Alternative names||Big Pink
Unico/U.S. Bancorp Tower
|Location||111 SW 5th Avenue
|Owner||JPMorgan Asset Management|
|Roof||163.38 m (536.0 ft)|
|Floor area||69,000 m2 (740,000 sq ft)|
|Design and construction|
|Architect||Skidmore, Owings & Merrill|
|Main contractor||Howard S. Wright Construction|
The U.S. Bancorp Tower is a 42-story, 163.38 m (536.0 ft) skyscraper in Portland, Oregon. It is the second tallest building in the city after Wells Fargo Center, and with its nearly 69,000 m2 (740,000 sq ft) office space, it's the largest in Oregon in terms of volume.
Designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM) with Pietro Belluschi as the consultant, the tower cost $60 million to construct. Ground was broken on May 29, 1981, and the building was largely completed in June 1983. It was dedicated on December 1, 1983. The tower adjoins U.S. Bank Plaza at 555 SW Oak Street, a 7-story, 497,800 sq ft (46,250 m2) building constructed in 1974. A tower expected to rise about 37 stories was already part of the bank's long-term site plans at that earlier date, but that phase of the plans ended up being delayed until the 1980s.
Originally, the building served as the national headquarters of U.S. Bancorp, and was the regional headquarters of that organization until a 1997 merger moved the corporate offices to Minneapolis, Minnesota. U.S. Bancorp has 480,000 sq ft (45,000 m2) leased until 2015.
During the 1980s and 1990s, the top floors held the headquarters of Louisiana-Pacific.
Since a $4 million renovation in 2002, the 30th floor of the tower has been occupied by the Portland City Grill, Portland's top-grossing restaurant. It has been cited as the restaurant with the best view in Portland.
In 2000, the U.S. Bancorp Tower was sold for a price of $165 million to a partnership of three firms: Unico Properties, JPMorgan and Wafra Investment Advisory Group. In 2004, a majority stake in the tower was acquired by California-based Broadreach Capital Partners LLC, which bought-out JPMorgan and Wafra, but Unico continued to own 25 percent. At that time, 92 percent of the building was leased.
Perhaps the most unusual features of the U.S. Bancorp Tower are its shape and color. Pietro Belluschi was most concerned about the play of light and shadows on its surface; meanwhile, the SOM team had to work with a uniquely shaped lot due to the street grid. The meshing of these two concerns led to what has been called Portland's most dynamic building. Because of the street grid, the tower features no right angles in its parallelogram footprint. This, in turn, makes it look either extremely slender or wide depending upon one's viewing angle. Belluschi carefully selected the glass and granite for the exterior facing. The pink granite covering the building was quarried in Spain. The Pittsburgh Plate Glass used for the windows is also pink, an effect caused by its being "glazed in a semitransparent coating of copper and silver that looks pink from the outside". The windows can absorb or reflect light depending upon how much light is upon them, while the surrounding granite may appear darker or lighter than the window panes, depending upon the time of day. The unusual color earned the building the nickname "Big Pink", after an album by The Band. As of 2013, the entire building is undergoing design renovation and construction expected to last until 2015. 
The U.S. Bancorp Tower with Mount Hood in the background
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- U.S. Bancorp Tower at CTBUH Skyscraper Database
- U.S. Bancorp Tower at Emporis
- U.S. Bancorp Tower at SkyscraperPage
- U.S. Bancorp Tower at Structurae
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