Portlandia (statue)

Portlandia is a sculpture by Raymond Kaskey located above the entrance of the Portland Building in downtown Portland, Oregon. It is the second-largest copper repoussé statue in the United States, after the Statue of Liberty.[1]

Portlandia sculpture.jpg
ArtistRaymond Kaskey
TypeCopper repoussé
Dimensions10.62 m (34 ft 10 in)
LocationPortland, Oregon, United States
Coordinates45°30′56.7″N 122°40′44.5″W / 45.515750°N 122.679028°W / 45.515750; -122.679028Coordinates: 45°30′56.7″N 122°40′44.5″W / 45.515750°N 122.679028°W / 45.515750; -122.679028


Portlandia was commissioned by the City of Portland in 1985.[2] Sculptor Raymond Kaskey was paid $228,000 in public funds and reportedly an additional $100,000 in private donations.[3]

Kaskey and his assistant Michael Lasell built sections of the statue in a Maryland suburb of Washington, D.C., and sent the parts to Portland by ship. It was assembled at a barge-building facility owned by Gunderson, Inc, and was installed on the Portland Building on October 6, 1985,[4] after being floated up the Willamette River on a barge.[5]


The Seal of Portland, which was the inspiration for Portlandia

The statue is based on the design of the Portland city seal. The statue depicts a female figure dressed in classical clothes, holding a trident in her left hand and reaching down with her right. The statue is above street level and faces a relatively narrow, tree-lined street.

The statue is 34 feet 10 inches (10.62 m) high[4] and weighs 6.5 short tons (5,900 kg).[3] If standing, the figure would be approximately 50 feet (15 m) tall.[citation needed]

An accompanying plaque includes the official dedication poem, also titled "Portlandia", written by Portland lawyer and poet Ronald Talney.

"She kneels down, and from the quietness of copper reaches out. We take that stillness into ourselves, and somewhere deep in the earth our breath becomes her city. If she could speak this is what she would say: Follow that breath. Home is the journey we make. This is how the world knows where we are."[6]


Portlandia did not become an icon because Kaskey guards the rights to the image closely.[7] He threatened with lawsuits anyone who used photos or illustrations of the sculpture for commercial purposes.[3]

The statue appears in the title sequence of the TV series Portlandia, the result of "lengthy" negotiations with Kaskey that required the statue not be used "in a disparaging way".[3] In 2012, Laurelwood Brewing used an illustration of the statue on the label of Portlandia Pils, a beer it introduced; the brewery later found out about Kaskey's copyright and reached a cash settlement with Kaskey.[3]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Warren, Stuart & Ted Ishikawa. Oregon Handbook. Moon Publications, 1991.
  2. ^ "Portlandia - Travel Oregon". Retrieved 2020-04-30.
  3. ^ a b c d e Locamthi, John (September 10, 2014). "So Sue Us: Why the Portlandia statue failed to become an icon". Willamette Week. pp. 15–17. Retrieved 2014-09-12.
  4. ^ a b Crick, Rolla J. (October 7, 1985). "Thousands bid ‘Portlandia’ warm welcome: Statue lifted successfully to final spot". The Oregonian, p. A1.
  5. ^ Ota, Alan K. (October 7, 1985). "‘Portlandia’ wends way along river, city streets to delight of onlookers". The Oregonian, p. B3.
  6. ^ The Unlikely Story of Portlandia's Poem. Oregonian, September 3, 2015
  7. ^ Bancud, Michaela (May 27, 2003). "Your best shot at a perfectly sculpted figure". Portland Tribune. Retrieved 2014-09-12. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External linksEdit