Portland's Cultural District
Portland’s Cultural District is the center of the city’s cultural activity. Located just to the south of the Pearl District, mainly along Broadway, this is where you’ll find most of Portland’s history and art museums, concert halls, theaters, and other fine and performing arts centers.
The district itself is a rather neat, dressed-to-the-nines part of town, built around a 12-block, manicured green belt, flanked by stone churches and brick buildings and beautified with public art, known as the South Park Blocks. Along its periphery are stately elms, dating from the mid to late 1800s.
Among the district’s treasures are the Portland Art Museum, which has an excellent permanent collection of Native American and Northwest art, and the adjacent Center for Modern and Contemporary Art, featuring contemporary works and changing exhibits. Also, across from the museum is an 8-story mural inspired by pioneers Lewis and Clark, presented by the Oregon Historical Society.
The Cultural District’s principal draw, however, is the Portland Center for the Performing Arts, which comprises the Elizabethan-style Dolores Winningstad Theatre, the Newmark Theatre, Keller Auditorium, and the historic Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. This last, the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, is particularly worth visiting, with its period lobby with crystal chandeliers, outsized mirrors and sweeping staircases. The concert hall is also where the Oregon Symphony performs. The Portland Opera, the Oregon Ballet Theatre and Broadway in Porland, meanwhile, have found a home in the nearby Keller Auditorium. At any rate, together these four venues host a whopping 900-plus events each year.
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