#60 Vera Katz Statue

060602katz_statueAn important journey on your way to becoming a Portlander (for all you just-got-to-towners), is the Waterfront Jog (or Yog, if you will). The Waterfront is comprised of sidewalk along the East and West side of the Willamette River in downtown. The Waterfront jog is a 2.5 mile loop of pavement between the Steel and the Hawthorne bridges. The loop features: jogging next to traffic, under a bridge, on floating concrete and on the Eastside Esplanade… a statue of former Portland Mayor Vera Katz.

Serving as Mayor from 1993 to 2005, Katz is consider one of the best in Portland’s history. Unfortunately, she became unable to run for for Mayor due to medical reasons, and the entire City of Portland lost an important leader.* In an effort to immortalize Katz for her public service, a statue was unveiled on the Waterfront in 2003. The creepiest statue ever sculpted.

As you approach, you aren’t quite sure exactly what the small figure is.  Is it a weary jogger?  Is it a small child?  Is it a transient?  Not, it’s Vera.  Seated in the “Listener” position, Katz welcomes all who pass by on the Eastbank Esplanade.  The statue has the basic likeness of the Mayor, but non of the charm.  Undoubtedly, the Katz statue has been a victim of public affection from the denizens who jog by. I encourage you to visit Vera’s statue and experience the magic for yourself.

*The next mayor was Mr. Irrelevant, Tom Potter


15 Responses to “#60 Vera Katz Statue”

  1. 1 hypnotoad 09/28 at 4:53 pm

    Isn’t this kinda fitting? Katz was a useless buffoon. Seriously. Vapidity blasted forth from her mouth every time it was open. She got elected on the same simple formula as anyone in Washington or multnomah county – you go about proclaiming how wonderful portland is and you kiss up to envirowanks and homosexuals.

  2. 2 pdxurbanoutdoorsman 03/14 at 4:05 pm

    Most of the time when I see a statue or painting of a person the artist will do what they can to kinda improve the looks of the subject. Unfortunately in this case the statue just as horrendous looking as Vera in person.

    My biggest complaint is that there are children present who do not deserve to be scarred by the sight of this statue. I have on many occasions placed a paper bag over the head to protect others.

  3. 3 Paul Johnson 09/19 at 1:20 pm

    Given that the Katz Esplanade was purpose-built as a bicycle corridor to funnel cyclists into and out of downtown to/from the Springwater, perhaps joggers should enjoy the grassy lawns of McCall Park across the river instead.

  4. 4 Ted 10/03 at 10:13 pm

    Oh you gotta be shitting me. THIS IS REAL? I thought it was just a Portland urban legend. She actually has a statue?

  5. 5 Jessica 09/07 at 11:49 am

    I am still waiting for the US military to stage a media event where they convince a crowd of local civilians to tie ropes around the statue and topple it. Then, they can tie an American flag to her head.

  6. 6 Super Awesome Guy 07/29 at 12:59 pm

    “Only those evil live to see their likeness in stone”

    • 7 Rick Anders 07/30 at 5:22 pm

      Wouldn’t it have been more appropriate for the Likeness to have been a pillar of salt?

  7. 8 Rick Anders 04/26 at 5:12 am

    M’mmm Portland,

    Isn’t that formerly Stumptown? The place where when the nutcases run out of your money to spend on great ideas, they send you a bill for payroll tax they forgot to take the first time around? Lends new meaning to the song “Lien On Me” I’m you little brother. Why do people who, by the grace of the almighty, escape a Holocaust are the most ready to bring facism to rest of US?

    Escapee from confiscation camp

  8. 9 Vaistara 01/29 at 8:23 pm

    Hmm. I always thought that statue was of Janet Reno.

  9. 10 Ryan Thompson 01/05 at 11:56 pm

    Remember the police chief Kroaker crap? Katz kept him on even though he was a proven, admitted bigot. He was eventually fired for one reason or another, and a handful of a eager, bigoted citizens picketed.

  10. 11 mac! 12/17 at 12:36 pm

    a few years ago, my friend called me at around midnight to tell me that she’d found a dead body on the esplanade, wrapped in a garbage bag and left in the bushes between omsi and the hawthorne bridge.

    on my way down there to poke it with a stick, she called back. the cops had shown up, and it turned out that it was the vera katz statue. they were going to erect it sometime in the next few days, and just left it on the esplanade for reasons entirely unknown.

    i’ve always thought there was a great deal of metaphorical weight to this anecdote.

  11. 12 Sid 12/17 at 7:57 am

    Personally, I like the idea of a Vera Katz statue. Of course, I also like the idea of the George W. Bush Presidential Library. We should always remind future generations of the face of complete incompetence, in order to minimize its occurrence in the future.

  12. 13 Karl Anderson 12/14 at 3:43 pm

    Important leader? In the role of police commissioner, Katz showed a willful disregard for her job. She refused to fire Kroeker, accepted his resignation only when it was politically impossible for her to put it off any longer, and never publicly criticized him. She personally pinned a medal on the officer who fatally shot Jose Mejia Poot.

  13. 14 B 12/13 at 10:20 am

    Maybe she is among the best in the city’s history but her administration wasn’t without its faults. The PGE Park revamp was plagued with problems, the Convention Center continues to be a bad joke and the South Waterfront….well, she got the ball rolling on that too. Nevertheless, at least she had numerous accomplishments. Potter? Not a single one springs to mind.

  14. 15 jonsquared 12/12 at 9:47 pm

    which one is the statue?

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