the streetcar rolls again

Seen from above, Leftbank, Greenroom, and the triangle lot in front of them form a wedge-shaped island that splits traffic into 2 directions just east of the Broadway Bridge. The plans to bring the Portland Streetcar across the river have marked the tip of that triangle as the first stop on the east side. It’s true now that a walk from Leftbank to the Pearl District or Old Town takes just minutes, but the easy connection that the streetcar makes is bound to affect how people think about that distance. more

Jumptown – Portland Jazz and the Leftbank

For a brief shining moment in Portland’s history, the Broadway/Williams area was home to some of the finest music being played west of Chicago. In his book Jumptown: The Golden Years of Portland Jazz 1942-1957, Robert Dietsche passionately narrates the story of the music and the city which he has lovingly researched. In the first chapter of Jumptown, Dietsche describes “The Dude Ranch” – the hottest club of all – located in the corner ‘ballroom’ space of what is today’s Leftbank. more

Butter Carving at the Hazelwood Creamery

Leftbank, in its many manifestations, has had a diverse and iconic history. While moments in time like the jazz bar, or the incubator for the Portland City Club stand out, some of the building’s lesser known usages are just as interesting and reflect on a culture which has slipped from public consciousness. One part of the structure, the Hazelwood building was a multi-floored with an ice-cream parlor/restaurant on the ground floor, confections and desserts made up above and milk and dairy deliveries going out the back door. In the mid twenties, pastry making and baking were not the mechanized processes we see today, but a true craft and the chefs employed were artists skilled at regional and European traditions. more

the march toward opening

After 2 years of dedicated effort, Leftbank is on the cusp of opening its doors.  Fantastic serendipity links PICA’s annual Time Based Art (TBA) festival this year with the public’s first look inside Leftbank. more