#37 Big Pink (US Bancorp Tower)

For all of us who work near the US Bancorp Tower or have been inside her, you can’t help but notice the tacky effect she has on downtown. From the sites, smells and sounds off ole Burnside, she stands tall and firm in representing Portland’s unique flavor. As the 2nd tallest skyscr-wordr in town, with 1.1 million sq. feet of office space, she literally holds some of Oregon’s most prominent businesses within her walls. More eye sore than business mecca, the US Bancorp Tower is one of the ugliest buildings in the Pacific Northwest.

The US Bancorp Tower opened for business in 1983 and served as U.S. Bancorp’s national headquarters for some time. As one of the largest banks in the United States, you would think perhaps blue or red might make more sense from a branding perspective. But no. US Bank decision makers, in all their free checking glory, decided to construct a big pink building with no right angles. Whilst approaching her from Old Town/Chinatown, Big Pink looks sleek and slender ready to wait in line at Bettie Ford. From the SW approach, she appears as a the massive bridesmaid in front of Dixie Tavern. No matter what though, she always looks better in the dark.

The most odious thing about her has nothing to do with the structure itself but with the daily discharge of white collar douche bags at 12 and 5 everyday. They fill the streets around the building with honking BMWs trying desperately to get back to Lake Oswego or West Linn for dinner (Even though Big Pink is home to one of the greatest Happy Hour food establishments in town- Portland City Grill). But my general dislike for suburbia can’t cloud the fact they still work in a big… erect… pink… tower.

27 thoughts on “#37 Big Pink (US Bancorp Tower)

  1. The view is nice but the food (at least for brunch) is definitely rubber chicken circuit at the Grill. Circa 1975. It must have been exciting back then. Big Pink IS ugly.

  2. I have lived in Portland my whole life and I think big pink is pretty, at least it is better looking than the Wells Fargo tower!

  3. “discharge of white collar douche bags”… come on man, I work there. while you may make a valid point as far the aesthetics are concerned, you shouldn’t judge several thousand people only because their companies happen to be in the tower. very few of them actually drive BMWs, and most are not douche bags either.

  4. Alot of people don’t know this but if you poop from the toilets on the top floor it just falls to the first floor! No pipes to flow down! Gawd what a fuggin stupid design!

  5. Alot of people don’t know this but if you poop from the toilets on the top floor it just falls to the first floor! No pipes to flow down! Gawd what a fuggin stupid design!

  6. I honestly think the building is nice looking.. Especially when the sun sets behind it..I just wish there was similar building nearby to even out the skyline.

  7. I honestly think the building is nice looking.. Especially when the sun sets behind it..I just wish there was similar building nearby to even out the skyline.

  8. Just today I had a job interview on the 20th floor of the beautiful “pink tower of power” and I have to say… the view was so breath taking, it left me almost speechless for interview just from the 20th floor. I gazed out the window for some time over the city and realized how fortunate we are to live in such a beautiful place. Yes, I am referring to the City of Portland. šŸ™‚ Sadly I didn’t get the job (could have been a bit distracted), but it was worth going through the interview process just to see the view!

  9. if u think the wells wells fargo center or the U.S bank tower are ugly then move out out of portland, cuz they will be here long after you buddy

  10. i live in portland and i thin kbig pink is on the the best lookin towers in oregon, my favorite is the fox tower, which can be seen from pioneer square

  11. No man, it’s a giant capitalist middle-finger to all the elitist BMW-liberals a few blocks north in the Pearl. What could possibly be more awesome?

  12. We should be so lucky. It looks okay for a city. In Chicago they’re going to erect a HUGE dildo (The Chicago Spire) in 2010. Now I want all of the whiners to look at that and tell me it doesn’t look like a sensual lady-stick. C’mon. Bancorp looks pretty darn okay now, doesn’t it?

  13. i tend to think it’s ugly as well… but I find charm in that… i mean… look at that crazy building in Vancouver BC with the UFO on top… i think Big Pink has vanity over that abomination… but the most memorable thing about Vancouver’s architecture is that hideous thing… so for better? for worse? so be glad you’re not homeless, and i guess glad you don’t work there…

  14. What a whiner. The pathetic, scruffy structures surrounding this cornerstone to the city include such traditional meccas as Mary’s Strip Club and the public housing projects on Burnside. Without someone’s vision to take a risk on a s**tty part of town, the Pearl would not be there.

    Clearly, you are envious of all who have more than you.

    Grow up pussy.

  15. OK player haters- quit the bitching.

    The comment about ‘white collar douche bags’ is an untrue, classicism example of what is truly intellectually skewed and ultimately disturbing about this beautiful city. (Go hipster, go!) I am willing to bet that over 50% of that above referenced group does not even own a car- let alone a copy of the ultimate driving machine.

    It’s unbelievable, the comments about this killer building.

    By the way, what were any of you doing in 1983?

    I work a few blocks from this building and am lucky to have a mesmerizing north view. The tower is perfect to judge the weather and cloud cover by. Despite being built back in the day (do a search of other skyscr-wordrs built in ’83 and prepare to cringe) it changes colors throughout the day… and gets downright scary looking at night- take a look from a rooftop apartment in Chinatown long after midnight and get ready for your world to be seriously rocked.

    DNNYDIRTY

    • Just today I had a job interview on the 20th floor of the beautiful “pink tower of power” and I have to say… the view was so breath taking, it left me almost speechless for interview just from the 20th floor. I gazed out the window for some time over the city and realized how fortunate we are to live in such a beautiful place. Yes, I am referring to the City of Portland. šŸ™‚ Sadly I didn’t get the job (could have been a bit distracted), but it was worth going through the interview process just to see the view!

  16. What’s wrong with driving BMW’s and being from Lake Oswego and having a great (ok decent) career… I think portland needs more posers ;o)… And the big pink is the only building I remembered while driving from Canada to LA.. Ok so I’m Canadian.. I guess what I think dont matter anyway

  17. You might also be interested to know that the US Bancorp tower is built on the site of the former Salvation Army building and is often referred to by the homeless community as the city’s middle finger to Old Town and the homeless, since it does stick out just a bit where it was built.

  18. I’m glad I found you, just moved here from Florida (which is infinitely worse than anything you can ever find in Portland) — good to have a perspective that isn’t ‘oooh Portland is perfect and wonderful and there’s nothing that isn’t fantastic and all the people are smart and conscious, blah, blah, blah (or should I say lars, lars, lars?). I know, I know, not everyone thinks Portland is perfect. But I like your blog. So. Thanks.

    BTW, something you might consider adding: the “church” of $cientology.
    I’m just saying.

    • This is the dumbest blog I have ever read. Please don’t mistake this guys angry ramblings for something coherent and valid. The Bancorp tower houses a ton of business of all sizes, many that do an outstanding amount of work to benefit the community. it would be wise to take anything this moron says with a grain of salt, being critical of where you live and being arrogant/bitter are entirely different things. .

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