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Smith & Watson Building
Smith & Watson Building Smith & Watson Building Smith & Watson Building Pilaster Detail
Smith & Watson Building (Berkshire Hotel)

Built 1883, Demolished 1974
First Avenue & Main Street

The owners of the Smith and Watson Iron Foundry used this building to highlight the capabilities of their firm. Generally thought to have been some of the finest cast iron art ever produced in Portland, the classically-inspired ornamentation included majestic columns with elaborate foliate Corinthian capitals, cast female heads, elegant medallions with intertwined ā€œSā€ and ā€œWā€ initials, ornate arches, and pilasters. Later uses of the building included serving as the Berkshire Hotel.

The Smith and Watson Building was demolished to make way for a new Portland General Electric complex in 1974, but much of the cast iron was salvaged by the Portland Friends of Cast-Iron Architecture and presented to the Oregon Historical Society for storage in hopes that the pieces would be preserved and possibly re-used. In 2006, the Society gave the cast iron to the Architectural Heritage Center.

Related Items
Capital from Smith & Watson Building Capital from Smith & Watson Building Head from Smith & Watson Building Female Head from Smith & Watson Building 1884 lithograph of Labbe Building Similar ironwork: Labbé Building, 1884