Five foot tall Apple logo sign could be issue for Apple Retail Store in Portland, Oregon

“The debate could come down to a wordless, back-lit sign of a big white apple with a bite out of it. It would measure 5 feet 3 inches by 6 feet 4 inches,” Fred Leeson reports for The Oregonian. “The logo of Apple Computers is becoming a worldwide symbol, like the golden arches. But does it belong, at that size, in the historic Alphabet District of Northwest 23rd Avenue [Portland, Oregon]? It’s an issue that could confront the City Council if the sign or exterior of a proposed Apple retail store at 437 N.W. 23rd Ave. flunks a test at the city’s Historic Landmarks Commission. Architects have tinkered with the design since an advisory meeting last August, when the commissioners used such words as ‘leaden’ and ‘incompatible’ to describe Apple’s preferred stainless steel retail box. Architect Jeff Stuhr will return with a revised plan that scraps the stainless steel in favor of stone but keeps a modernistic flat exterior skin.”

“The proposed store would replace a former clinic and retail building that dates to 1982, so nothing historic would be destroyed. But city design guidelines adopted in 2000 say new buildings ‘will seek to incorporate design themes characteristic of similar buildings’ in the historic district,” Leeson reports. “Apple doesn’t comment on building plans. The company has built more than 135 retail outlets since 2001. Many are in shopping malls, but the company also looks for older traditional locations. According to an independent Web site that tracks Apple stores, the company dropped plans for a store in New York City’s Flatiron District after a historic review council rejected the design. The company presently faces opposition in a historic Boston neighborhood, but it managed to build an ultramodern store behind the facade of an 1898 building in London. ‘Just being modernistic is not the issue,’ says John Bradley, chairman of the Northwest District Association’s planning committee. ‘It’s going to depend how well it fits in.'”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It’s going to depend how well it fits in? Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can praise them, disagree with them, quote them, disbelieve them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They invent. They imagine. They heal. They explore. They create. They inspire. They push the human race forward. Maybe they have to be crazy. How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art? Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written? Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels? We make tools for these kinds of people. While some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do. – Apple Computer, Inc.

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Related articles:
The somewhat overlooked locomotive that pulls Apple’s train: Apple’s growing cadre of retail stores – January 12, 2006
Photos of Apple’s $9 million 32-foot-by-32-foot New York City Glass Cube – January 01, 2006
U.S. Apple Retail Stores on a Google Map – November 07, 2005
Apple drops small NYC Flatiron store to focus on much larger Apple Store in GM Building – October 17, 2005


  1. The proposed store would replace a former clinic and retail building that dates to 1982, so nothing historic would be destroyed.

    But we’ll lose our ’80s heritage! That beautiful piece of 1982 architecture will be lost forever. Our kids won’t be able to see it and revel in the genius and spirit of the 1980s.

    What is it with Jobs’ obsession with destroying historical landmarks?

  2. Only Jooop would consider a asbestos filled building built in 1982 as “historic”

    Historic generally relates to buildings that are over 100 years old or contain such character that is almost impossible to replace today.

    I sit on a historical board.

  3. Welcome to the world of Beta testing!
    I know… wrong thread but the topic is a bit more interesting than the portland “crisis”. I for one think that the Portland law is awesome. Cities are more and more looking like ugly corporate patchworks. I love the Apple store design but what about McDonalds, Verizon etc… UGLY. Not in my neighborhood. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  4. Overzealous ‘purist’ preservationist types are a pain in the a*s. The next thing you know they will try to get shotgun shacks and outhouses listed. I’m for reasonable preservation, but property owners should have reasonable latitude and discretion with property that they own.

    Half of what is listed is not worth preserving. The proposed Boston Apple Store location mentioned is in the shadow of the Prudential Center– a mammoth pile of cookie cutter crap. It’s about something other than preservation– more often just a bunch of manipulative pols.

  5. My office is right by the proposed spot. The current building is ugly, but I agree that the neighborhood would not benefit from a big metal box. I thought apple did a fantastic job with their SOHO store in fitting in with the surroundings.

    Attention to these details is one of the many reasons this is a good place to live.

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