In Search of Portland

Veterans Memorial Coliseum

Veterans Memorial Coliseum

It is arguably the most architecturally unique arena in the United States, offering 360-degree views from its seats: a pioneeringly pristine midcentury-modern glass box born from the optimistic days of JFK and the NASA space program. It has hosted some of the city's most memorable cultural moments, including the Portland Trail Blazers' 1977 NBA championship and concerts by nearly every iconic 20th century rock and pop act, including The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, James Brown, Elvis Pressley, Bob Dylan, Queen, Fleetwood Mac and David Bowie, not to mention inspiring speeches by transcendent leaders like The Dalai Lama and Barack Obama. The arena has a dark side: many Black-owned homes were demolished to make way for it. But in the future, a restored Coliseum is poised to become the cultural centerpiece of a reborn Albina neighborhood.

Duration: 1 hr 35 min

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