Light rail through Portland's Lloyd District led to such an increase in transit ridership, pedestrian activity and economic development that the City of Portland and TriMet found compelling reasons to improve NE Holladay Street and resurrect Portland's historic Waterfront Streetcar service.

A team of architects and engineers led by ZGF Architects reshaped 13 city blocks connecting the Lloyd Center Shopping Mall, the Oregon Convention Center and the Rose Quarter sports and entertainment district. The project rebuilt two existing surface rail platforms and added two more stations to the MAX blue line segment.

Improved pedestrian experience, traffic efficiency and transit safety through paving, station platform, furnishing, lighting and planting design.
Volumes of people needed comfort and safety in a space dominated by auto and rail.

The overall project gave a lot of attention to both station design and street vitality. Like the bus and rail malls across the river on the west side of Portland's downtown, sidewalks were built with brick. But the more animated activities in this east side district called for much richer colors and patterns.

Color and pattern served the dual purpose of pleasing the eye and of making it clear what zones belonged to pedestrians.

The street became a friendly outdoor space that animated the sports, entertainment and convention facilities it connected. It carried people safely between activities and encouraged further economic development in the area by connecting a series of small, privately developed open spaces from the Rose Quarter station at NE Wheeler Ave. to NE 13th Ave. and Holladay Park at the Mall.

When the bricks submitted for review consistently failed to meet our color specifications, I flew to a meeting in Nebraska with the Mutual Materials sales rep and the brick manufacturing plant owner. By reviewing the plant's particular brick flashing process and talking about performance rather than specifics, we ended up with a better brick than we expected.
Turning a vehicle barrier into the base for an art sculpture solved a hazardous traffic pattern problem. It also represented how we used design to solve conflicting agendas by rewarding participants with incentives rather than compromises.


Responsible for schematic design phase and design development phases. Lead Architect on construction documents through construction administration phases. Developed transit platform details and specifications which were emulated and expanded by TriMet throughout many other parts of the light rail system.

Role: Architect

Setting: ZGF Architects, Portland TriMet - Urban Design & Planning

Location: Portland, Oregon

Year: 1990 to 1991