Secret Portland

Anybody want to guess where I took the photo of downtown Portland seen above? Does the picture below give a hint?

The "Absolutely No Smoking" sign below is from the site. Over the years, visitors have inscribed their names on the sign, as well as on other surfaces. One visitor, "Pocatella Slim" visited several times, starting as early as 1964. Some wag decided to rechristen Mr. Slim as "PocaFella Slim" in the seventies.

SPOILER ALERT! The first comment on this post reveals the mystery, thanks to David's diligent and crafty research. If you want to play along, don't read the comment section yet. You always read the comments, don't you? You should. They're often better than the post.

Also, I'll post some more fascinating details about this secret location in the next day or two, so be sure to come back for a visit. You always come back to re-read these posts, don't you? You should. They age and mellow.

UPDATE: The top photo was taken from the door on the south side of Union Station's Italianate tower, just below the clockface in this postcard.

The clockface photo is taken from inside the tower. A craftsman/carpenter with whom we are acquainted was working on clocktower renovations for many weeks and invited us to take a peek. The stairway to the top is several hundred steps, with narrow, steep steps on risers twice as high as a normal staircase--more of a ladder than stairs. The walls in the top room are inscribed with names and dates. I wish I'd brought a a notepad to write some of them down. The center of the room is filled with the clockworks (pictured below). The works were in a glass box so I couldn't stick something in the cogs to jam up the works.

Here's an exciting action video of the clockworks, which are powered by gravity--somebody has the crank the weights back up to the top of the tower periodically.


David said...

Thanks to Google Maps with Street View, I confirmed and refined my vague sense of your location: the clock tower at the train station, just north of 6th and Irving.

Stephen said...

Is it the Train Station?
Portland has a great station... I remember how much I loved when I lived in Seattle.
My husband is designing a penthouse for Street Of Dreams (in the Pearl this year) & hus unit (huh, huh... I said "his unit") in the Encore looks at the station. It is so cool.

MightyToyCannon said...

It certainly is the Union Station clocktower, taken from inside the tower, looking south over the Greyhound station. I'll post more pictures and a description of the circumstances of my finding my way up there later.