Oregon Convention Center
|Oregon Convention Center|
Location in Portland
|Address||777 NE Martin Luther King Boulevard|
|Height||63 metres (207 ft)|
|Floor area||approx. 1,000,000 square feet (93,000 m2)|
|Design and construction|
|Architecture firm||Zimmer Gunsul Frasca|
The Oregon Convention Center is a convention center in Portland, Oregon. Completed in 1989 and opened in 1990, it located on the east side of the Willamette River in the Lloyd District neighborhood. It is best known for the twin spire towers which provide light into the building's interior and for housing the world's largest Foucault Pendulum. The center is owned by Metro, the Portland area's regional government, and operated by the Metropolitan Exposition and Recreation Commission.
The building was designed by the architectural firm of Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects (ZGF). It is the largest convention center in Oregon at nearly 1,000,000 square feet (93,000 m2). The complex includes 255,000 square feet (23,700 m2) of exhibit space. It features the largest ballroom in the City of Portland at 35,000 square feet (3,300 m2). The original building was built in the late 1980s, opened in 1990  and was expanded in 2003. ZGF was also involved in designing the expansion. Most recently, the building has become known for upward illuminating the twin spires yearly on September 11 in memorial of the events of 9/11. In 2008 the OCC replaced its traditional Wi-Fi Hotspots with Wi-Fi Arrays to provide wireless internet services which are sold to exhibitors and attendees.
The building and grounds also have an extensive set of public art, with works from over two dozen mainly Pacific Northwest artists. The collection includes paintings, plaques, glass and ceramic tiles, sconces, mosaics, bells, and parts of a large Douglas fir. Each of the towers has a focal point artwork, with a colorful 40-foot long Chinese dragon boat suspended in the east tower, and Principia by Jones/Ginzel, a dramatic Foucault pendulum hanging over a gilded halo of rays and an inlaid fantasy solar system in the floor of the north tower.
The region's light rail system, TriMet's MAX, serves the center with a station on Holladay Street, and the Portland Streetcar system began serving with center in 2012, with the opening of a new line called the CL Line. TriMet bus route 6 also serves the facility.
Construction on a 30,000-square-foot (2,800 m2), full-block "outdoor plaza" facility for convention-related activities started in 2011 across the street from the center, to the east. The plaza, known as the Oregon Convention Center Plaza, opened in January 2012.
Metro has proposed a 600-room hotel adjacent to the Convention Center, to be built by Mortenson Construction, then owned and operated as a Hyatt Regency. The $212 million hotel would be partially paid for by Metro using $60 million in revenue bonds and $18 million from Oregon Lottery funds, loans, and grants. The plan has attracted criticism from existing hoteliers as being an unfair subsidy, while Metro has championed it as a way to attract larger conventions. Suits from opponents were rejected in county courts, and in May 2015, the Oregon Legislature authorized Metro to issue the bonds.
- Redden, Jim (February 18, 2010). "Hotel or not, conventions coming". Portland Tribune. Retrieved March 3, 2013.
- Thompson, Carla (September 24, 1990). "Center's opening enticed more than 100,000". The Oregonian.
- Stout, Heide J. (December 15, 2002). "Convention center takes advantage of city vistas". Portland Business Journal. Retrieved August 28, 2011.
- "Oregon Convention Center Customer Deployment". Xirrus. Retrieved 2009-03-12.
- Bingham, Larry (July 5, 2011). "Oregon Convention Center building outdoor plaza in Northeast Portland on Sizzler block once considered site of headquarters hotel". The Oregonian. Retrieved August 28, 2011.
- Culverwell, Wendy (January 20, 2012). "Convention Center Plaza fence comes down today". Portland Business Journal. Retrieved January 29, 2012.
- Njus, Elliot (May 8, 2015). "Metro offered convention hotel opponents $2.5 million land plot in exchange for dropping lawsuits". The Oregonian. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
- Njus, Elliot (April 27, 2015). "Bill to clear way for convention center hotel headed to governor's desk". The Oregonian. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
- Njus, Elliot (November 20, 2014). "Convention center hotel challenges rejected in Multnomah, Clackamas county courts". The Oregonian. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
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