Thursday, December 16, 2010

Day 16: Soaring High Above Portland

Welcome to Day 16 in our 24 Days of Books. Today we're soaring high over our beautiful city with the gorgeous new book Above Portland. The book offers the stunning aerial photography of  Bruce Forster and is edited by Chet Orloff, who was the executive director of the Oregon Historical Society from 1991 to 2001 and currently teaches urban studies and history at Portland State University and the UO School of Architecture. Bruce Forster is one of the leading photographers inthe Pacific Northwest, with more than 40 years of experience.

As the editor of the book, Orloff invited five local experts to pen essays on topics that reflect our city's personality: Brian Libby on The Portland Way, Rob Bennett on Sustainability, Mike Houck on Green Portland, Paddy Tillett on Transportation, and Donald Stastny on Urban Planning.

"... We were immediately intent upon looking at our city with more than just photographs," Orloff says. "We envisioned a book that would not only show readers what Portland is, but describe why it is what it is."

This is a gorgeous book, organized by sections of the city (with some bonus shots, like Cascade Head on the coast), with a perspective we don't often get to see: Portland from the air. Some of my favorite shots, off the top of my head: Ladd's Addition, Union Station, the University of Portland, the Chinese Garden, and the Portland Memorial Mausoleum Mural overlooking Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge -- and that's just a taste! The book also includes some historical aerial photographs. What a wonderful gift this would make! Best of all, Bruce and Chet signed all of the copies in our store. There was a short article about the book in last week's Oregonian (and rumor has it there might be a longer article to come).

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