UO’s latest ‘Made in Oregon’ sign proposal stalls until Sept.


The Portland Landmarks Commission rejected at a July 27 hearing the University’s proposal to change the text of Portland’s “Made in Oregon” sign, meaning the debate over the signage on the Portland White Stag building remains unresolved. The building has been home to the University’s Portland campus since 2008, with the institution holding an 18-year lease, but the city ultimately controls both the signs atop the building and adjacent water tower.


University officials have requested to change the historic “Made in Oregon” sign on the White Stag building to read a neutral “Oregon,” along with placing a neon University “O” logo on the water tower. Portland’s Bureau of Developmental Services and Landmarks Commission denied this combined request last week, wanting to tackle each sign separately and saying the changes will have a negative effect on the historic Old Town area.

The July 27 meeting was intended to resolve this dilemma and finalize both of the signs’ designs and placement. The meeting, which concluded in less than an hour, simply resulted in the city giving both involved parties an extension period to work further on the issue. “The University and city said that they were still considering their options,” city planner Mark Walhood, who attended the hearing, said.

The University first proposed a change to the “Made in Oregon” sign in December, petitioning to change the wording to “University of Oregon.” After much discussion, a June 13 hearing concluded in a negotiation between the Landmarks Commission and the University that the sign could be changed to read “Oregon.” In this compromise, the University included the addition of the neon “O” on the water tower, an idea not accepted by the city, leaving the dilemma in its currently unresolved state.

Portland native and University junior Daniel Ronan believes there is no place for the school’s logo on Portland’s water tower. “It seems as though the school is concentrating more on its image than its academic programs in Portland,” Ronan said. The water tower currently reads “Old Town” in painted letters, and stands directly behind the White Stag building.

Ronan, who initiated a group to stop the changes on the “Made in Oregon” sign earlier in the year, looks forward to the conclusion of the negotiation. “It’s clear that the City of Portland and the University are tired of working out solutions with the Landmarks Commission,” he said Wednesday.

The resolution date has been extended until a Sept. 14 hearing to determine the sign’s future.

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