Lobby of the Cascade Building

Even on rainy days, I like to get outside and walk around downtown on my lunch hour. Now and then I duck into the lobby of old building to warm up and look around. Last week I found refuge in the Cascade Building at 520 SW 6th Avenue, and found polished marble walls and old elevators:

As well as an old-fashioned letter box:

Just to the left of the entrance was this sculpture by Portland artist Mel Katz:

And an interpretive sign:

Up close I could see the craftsmanship and design detail:

Mel Katz has been featured on Oregon Art Beat, in the Portland Mercury, and at, which describes him as, “a driving institutional force for the PCVA (Portland Center for the Visual Arts) and PSU’s art program, and during the 70’s [he] was somewhat single-handedly responsible for Portland not being isolated from the art world and contributing to the careers of major artists.”

The next day, wanting to see more of Katz’s work, I found this at SW 6th and Stark:

And this (Red, Yellow, Blue 1990)at the 200 Market building, aka the Black Box:

Of the three, the Three C’s seemed the happiest in its surroundings:

…or maybe I just like it more than the others.

I will be visiting the lobbies of more downtown Portland buildings, that is, if it rains again in Portland.


2 responses to “Lobby of the Cascade Building

  1. The interior of the Cascade Building, including the lobby, was remodeled in 2015-2016. The mailbox and the old floor indicators above the elevators are still there. But, the marble and the Katz piece are gone. At the same time that the remodel updated the look/feel of the building, it removed part of its soul (if there is such a thing).

    • Thanks, Peter. I took a look at the remodel earlier this week and saw the light show on the wall, and other changes. I agree, not an improvement! I haven’t blogged here in quite a while, so I appreciate hearing this update. Lynn

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