The Oregon Convention Center is a convention center in Portland, Oregon. Completed in 1989 and opened in 1990, it located on the east side of the Willamette River in the Lloyd District neighborhood. It is best known for the twin spire towers which provide light into the building’s interior and for housing the world’s largest Foucault Pendulum. The center is owned by Metro, the Portland area’s regional government, and operated by the Metropolitan Exposition and Recreation Commission.
The building was designed by the architectural firm of Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects (ZGF). It is the largest convention center in Oregon at nearly 1,000,000 square feet (93,000 m2). The complex includes 255,000 square feet (23,700 m2) of exhibit space. It features the largest ballroom in the City of Portland at 35,000 square feet (3,300 m2). More recently, the building has become known for upward illuminating the twin spires yearly on September 11 in memorial of the events of 9/11.
The building and grounds also have an extensive set of public art, with works from over two dozen mainly Pacific Northwest artists. The collection includes paintings, plaques, glass and ceramic tiles, sconces, mosaics, bells, and parts of a large Douglas fir. Each of the towers has a focal point artwork, with a colorful 40-foot long Chinese dragon boat suspended in the east tower, and Principia by Jones/Ginzel, a dramatic Foucault pendulum hanging over a gilded halo of rays and an inlaid fantasy solar system in the floor of the north tower.
The region’s light rail system, TriMet’s MAX, serves the center with a station on Holladay Street. The Portland Streetcar system began serving the center in 2012, with the opening of a new line called the CL Line; this was renamed the Loop Service in 2015. TriMet bus route 6 also serves the facility.
Construction on a 30,000-square-foot (2,800 m2), full-block “outdoor plaza” facility for convention-related activities started in 2011 across the street from the center, to the east. The plaza, known as the Oregon Convention Center Plaza, opened in January 2012.