#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 skyscraper 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.


19 Responses to “#37 Big Pink (US Bancorp Tower)”

  1. 1 Horkenmeyer 12/13 at 9:06 am

    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!

  2. 2 Deon O. 11/12 at 2:21 pm

    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.

  3. 3 Eduardo 08/09 at 2:27 pm

    I am so sad to read this. This makes me sad

  4. 4 Forte101 03/20 at 5:27 pm

    It is so distinctive that I never noticed it.

  5. 5 jjsolari 07/10 at 3:25 pm

    you have the aesthetic sense of a bantha

  6. 6 loopie 02/27 at 2:15 am

    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

  7. 7 loopie 02/27 at 2:12 am

    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

  8. 8 Ted 10/03 at 9:57 pm

    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?

  9. 9 Brandon Unversagt 09/30 at 8:08 pm

    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?

  10. 10 EN 08/20 at 3:57 am

    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…

  11. 11 Johnsone 08/17 at 8:38 pm

    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 shitty part of town, the Pearl would not be there.

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

    Grow up pussy.

  12. 12 Alex 05/04 at 1:10 am

    It definitely adds that “huge pink phallus” element to the cityscape though

  13. 13 DNNYDIRTY 01/22 at 6:47 pm

    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 skyscrapers 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.


    • 14 Alex 05/04 at 1:09 am

      Its just a blog for fun, calm yourself down.

    • 15 Tess 02/07 at 9:26 pm

      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!

  14. 16 TLC Tugger 09/05 at 2:09 pm

    When I saw big pink I immediately thought to myself,

    Rose-Tu’s vagina?

  15. 17 Sucknalime 08/05 at 8:46 pm

    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

  16. 18 RenegadePilgrim 07/29 at 11:05 pm

    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.

  17. 19 cathy 05/30 at 12:02 pm

    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.

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