Portland's First National Treasure is Veterans Memorial Coliseum

Photo © Julis Shulman

On June 9th, 2016, the National Trust for Historic Preservation named Veterans Memorial Coliseum its newest National Treasure—the first site to obtain the designation in Portland. The National Trust selected the iconic arena for its "historical and architectural significance, as well as its potential to contribute to Portland’s cultural and economic vitality."

Designed by SOM, the building was the only glass-walled International Style stadium in the Pacific Northwest when it opened in 1960. The arena, which has played host to concerts, events and professional sporting matches, offers uninterrupted panoramic views of Portland from its bowl-style seating area SOM's design team achieved the building's unique sense of equilibrium  through an elegant contrast between fluid and rectangular shapes​.