The idea came to one of us early in the morning before dawn. We’d been hired to do the first phase of marketing for this amazing building at the intersection of 12th and Washington Streets. After meeting with the architects, developers, and investors to learn as much as we could about the design of the building both inside and out, the character of the neighborhood, and the profile of the people who’ll live and work in the building, we set out to give it a name.
One of the core principles that the design and development team stressed continually was authenticity. The West End neighborhood has a diverse and edgy personality, and it was important to preserve and enhance that quality throughout the process. Another key principle was the desire on the part of everyone involved to have a collaborative process that ensured the best of all ideas would be able to surface and thrive. Collaboration is one of Portland’s great qualities, and it forms the bedrock upon which the city has grown—and grown well.
Portlanders have a long history of engaging one another about the issues surrounding the kind of city we live in now, and what kind of city we want in the future. These conversations are not always easy, but they are increasingly the thing that differentiates the incredible livability of this city compared with so many across the country.
Fast forward to a moment before dawn when the path for naming the building became clear: we should ask the people of Portland for their help: Portlanders, whose thoughtful, imaginative and creative intuition and thoughtfulness would reveal a clear, authentic voice. We wanted Portland to take a seat at the table, add their two cents into the mix, help come up with an authentic name for a building that, as the first mixed-used building in the nation to seek Platinum LEED certification, will be a sterling example for cities elsewhere.
So that’s the story, and we’re hoping you will jump in and join the conversation. Let us know what names you like, and what names you don’t think make the cut. Throw your own creativity into the mix and see how it measures up in the eyes of your fellow Portlanders. We’re listening, and we’re glad you’re talking.