Wednesday, July 22, 2009

oh lovejoy

drugstore cowboy

on the set

the lovejoy columns

i was walking through the pearl today and started past the lovejoy columns and realized this would be a great post for this afternoon. do you remember the columns from the movie "drugstore cowboy"? they were used as the location in the opening scene.

when the pearl district began it's major redevelopment a few years back, it included the demolition of the lovejoy bridge. it was unclear what would happen to these famous columns and after the bridge was torn down, the columns were put into storage for a few years. i was so happy to see them resurrected in the little plaza that they currently stand in (nw 10th and everett).

here is the history that is imprinted on one of the columns and shown in a photo above.

"from 1948 to 1952, greek immigrant and artist tom e. stefopoulos created a series of paintings on the columns of the old lovejoy ramp. the two columns in this plaza bear six of tom's original paintings...prior to being redeveloped, much of what is now called the 'pearl district' was a rail-yard. this rail-yard, spanned by the lovejoy ramp, was where tom worked as a watchmen for the sp&s railroad. during idle moments tom created these paintings. as he explained in a 1967 interview, 'when trains stop at crossing, waiting for other trains to switch, i climb on top of boxcar next to painting, reach out like this, and paint. sometimes, when i'm not finished, the train wait a minute-i paint-then climb down and wave her on'. as cultural treasures, these painted columns were saved from demolition..."

i highly recommend you stop by and pay homage to the columns if you haven't yet. they are such a big part of our quirky portland personality. thank you gus for immortalizing them in the film drugstore cowboy.

No comments:

Post a Comment