Urban historians to explore the moments that shaped Portland


It’s hard to imagine Portland without the Tom McCall Waterfront Park, the Willamette Valley without the wine industry, or Stumptown without sustainability. But each started as an idea or a moment that eventually shaped an entire region.

Urban historians have gathered a series of one-minute stories about the people, decisions, inventions, embarrassments and events that shaped Portland. “PDX:DNA – 60 Minutes That Shaped Portland,” will be from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 18, at UO Portland, 70 NW Couch St.  

Anecdotes will include when 300 people picnicked in a highway median strip, which lead to the creation of the waterfront park, or how two county planners hand drew a map that created region’s wine country.

Presenters include Carl Abbott, an urban studies and planning professor at Portland State University; Heather Arndt-Anderson, a food historian and author; Randy Gragg, director of the UO’s John Yeon Center and architecture, urban design and urban history writer; Doug Kenk-Crispin of the “Kick Ass Oregon History” podcast; Allan Lazo, executive director of the Fair Housing Council of Oregon; and Carl Annala, visual artist and musician who has played with Portland punk bands including Hitting Birth and Jagula and the roots music band, Blood Valley Boys. Oregon Historical Society archive curator Matthew Cowan will present a panorama of Oregon history in images.

The event, sponsored by the John Yeon Center for Architecture and the Landscape and University of Oregon Portland, will feature refreshments and music. The event is free, but registration is encouraged. To register, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/pdxdna-tickets-30671102092