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Corbett Center

IMG_3493At the corner of SW Hamilton Street and Corbett Avenue is a small office building called the Corbett Center. It is not much to look at when it is cloudy. But on a sunny morning like we had today, it is stunning.IMG_3506

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IMG_3502Sometimes the design elements look like the letter Y. Sometimes they look like Christ. Sometimes they look like dancers holding hands. Sometimes I can almost hear the voices of a joyful choir!IMG_3503From the other side of the building, they look like hexagons. I had not seen these stairs before, so I had to take a look.IMG_3517A breezeway! But first, these asymmetrical lights caught my eye. Were they mass produced in 1963? Were they designed specifically for this building? It is a mystery because my online research told me almost nothing about the history of the Corbett Center.IMG_3522Wild.IMG_3523All I could find was the property description in Portland Maps. Now, back to the stairs.IMG_3518IMG_3525IMG_3526A secret courtyard.IMG_3527And then back to the sidewalk, where I found it interesting the way this one arm was left to hang out past the edge of the building.IMG_3534Thank you, 1963.

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3 responses to “Corbett Center

  1. M – love this post! I was inspired to do a little research on midcentury modern office building design — there are some great blogs with similarly intriguing images out there. I also came across this article: http://www.theatlanticcities.com/design/2013/03/case-against-saving-midcentury-office-buildings/5126/. It made me think that a geographic location like Portland, with its relatively mild climate and interest in green retrofitting, might make it the ideal place to preserve this architecture — maybe even someday a destination for people interested in studying this period of design. -K

    • “…a valuable strata in architectural time.” To me buildings like the Corbett Center tell a piece of the story of the tremendous cultural shift we have experienced over the last few decades. They are beautiful now in a very different way from how they were beautiful then, eh?

  2. well, a bit more research shows this might already be happening…. http://mcmleague.org/?page_id=474 and http://historicpreservationleague.org/EventZaik.php …. pretty cool!

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