One other well known Portland Landmark

One notable Portland historic landmark that I intentionally left out of yesterday’s post is the Made in Oregon sign. It is probably one of the most photographed signs in the city and is a symbol of being proud of the products Oregon produces.

K103 radio station has a listener’s Christmas party at the base of the building where the sign is every year. They count down to the time that they flip the switch to turn the deer’s nose to red and it becomes Rudolph.

Here’s why I left the Made in Oregon sign out of my post yesterday:

By Brian Barker KATU News and KATU.com Staff

“PORTLAND, Ore. – As the saga of the Made in Oregon sign continues here in Portland, the city now has a plan they hope will keep the famous landmark out of the hands of the University of Oregon.

Their idea? Condemn the famous sign, declare eminent domain and pay the company that owns it $500,000 to take ownership of it.

The 69-year-old sign, which used to read White Satin, then White Stag and then 12 years ago was changed to Made in Oregon, has become quite a bone of contention lately after the University of Oregon announced it wanted to change the sign to read University of Oregon.

The university owns the building that the sign sits on and while it might sound like a logical move, anyone who lives in Portland knows it’s not that simple. You see, the sign represents a lot of things to a lot of different people in the Rose City and talk of changing it tends to rile folks up.”

OK, I ask where is the money coming from? The city says that it won’t come from the general funds. They believe someone or some organization will fork over the $500,000.

While I may be ambivalent about the outcome of the sign I have a real problem with spending that kind of money on saving it. Think about all the good 1/2 million bucks would do to feed the homeless, add beds to a shelter for battered women and children, support seniors through Meals on Wheels, help Habitat for Humanity build homes, funds for Cascade Aids Project treatment and research centers, add staff to the areas other treatment centers, etc.

My God people the list of things that could be done with that $500,000 to  help turn around someones life is just staggering. I heard a radio public service announcement the other day that said with a donation of  about $18 one more person could be served a hot meal everyday for a week at one of  Portland’s homeless shelters. Do the math $500,ooo/$18= 27777. WOW! Last year the Portland Gospel Mission served around 30,000 hot meals to the city’s homeless.


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6 Responses

  1. I hear ya, sister. Of course, as a HUGE Duck fan, I wouldn’t mind if they changed it to read University of Oregon (though I WOULD if OSU owned the building and wanted to change it to Oregon State University, but since that isn’t a factor, I won’t let myself think of that possibility), mostly because for 69 years it HASN’T read “Made in Oregon”. I mean, it’s a sign. Why spend the money? And why all the controversy over it, anyway? Like you say, there are plenty of other things to think about, and plenty of other things to spend that kind of money on. It’s nuts.

    • Joyce, I knew you would say that about UofO. But right, the sign is really an advertisement for the Made in Oregon company. Yes, I agree we should be proud of all of the great products that are made in the state and those companies that make them and happy for the people they employee. But… why spend any organizations money to save a sign that ultimately will make the owners of MiO richer than they already are?

  2. (everything else aside I laughed because I wasn’t sure anyone was getting that I’m a Duck…)

  3. I agree about there being a better use for that money than a sign.

    • 1/2 million dollars is a LOT of money. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. In my opinion the owners of the Made In Oregon company should be the ones to pay to save the sing since it directly impacts the success 0f their business and their wallets.

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