Exploring the Portland State University Campus
Thursday 11 June 2015 — Category: Outings
Japanese Garden and the International Rose Test Garden. By 10:30 I was taking Portland’s wonderful public transportation (TriMet) to my third destination for the day: the Portland State University campus.
Before I continue, let’s get our bearings with a bit of urban geography. Downtown Portland is generally considered to be bounded by the curving Willamette River on the east, and the curving Interstate 405 on the west, to where they meet in both the north and the south (part of the southern boundary is the I-5).
Downtown is roughly bisected by Burnside Street (under the large red “Portland” on the map). North of Burnside are the Old Town / Chinatown District and the Pearl District.
South of Burnside also consists of two areas. The upper portion is generally the main high-rise business district. The lower portion has grown over the decades to become the urban PSU campus.
This campus stretches south from Columbia St and west from 3rd Ave (marked with red lines on the map), bounded by the I-405 on the south and west. Of course, not every building within this area belongs to PSU, nor is every PSU facility located within this area. However, the boundaries I have described are mostly — if not totally — accurate.
The last stop of the MAX Green and Yellow Lines is the southern end of the PSU campus at the corner of SW 5th Ave & Jackson St — the PSU South MAX Station. From there I wandered north, often along the South Park Blocks.
PSU Web site, its campus consists of 60 buildings covering 50 acres. According to what I discovered using Google Earth, the boundaries I have described above — and marked on the map — contain about 130 acres.
Maybe I’m simply an ignorant country bumpkin in the big city, but I am amazed at the quantity of public art in Portland. Are all other big cities the same? It seems like everywhere I look there are statues and fountains and murals and more!
Besides all this, even the variations in old and new architecture are quite artistic and worthy of admiration and contemplation.
I roamed for three hours over the PSU district’s 130 acres, taking a total of 105 pictures. Not every subject was located within the campus boundaries, but they were all viewed and photographed from within those boundaries.
The best 42 can be browsed in the new Portland State University 2015 album. An additional five images were incorporated into the two sequences in the album. Furthermore, there are 15 black and white photos from this outing.
Seeing that the PSU campus is part and parcel of downtown Portland, this new album of pictures can be regarded as an extension of the Portland Downtown Spring 2015 album. Because this is the second Oregon university campus I have photographed this year, it can also be considered a companion to the OSU Prime 2015 album.
As usual, I have taken great pains to research the names and locations of the subjects photographed, the details of which are presented in the caption of each photo. I also took the time to plot each building in Google Earth, so I can refer to them in future photos rather than reinventing the wheel each time.
As I have mentioned a couple of times in previous articles, you can benefit from my hours of research by downloading the Google Earth file I created. If you find it beneficial, be sure to come back and download it occasionally, because I am constantly updating it with new locations.
When exploring my Portland map overlay, be sure the 3D Buildings option is enabled in the app. For more details about this Google Earth file, see my article A Portland Google Earth Companion.