Interstate MAX Line, Portland Oregon May 2004
The station reflects the complex weave of time and place where water has been the touch point for the changing relationship between man and nature. The platform and bioswale acknowledge the former city of Vanport, the largest wartime housing project in the U.S., which was located on this site between 1942-1948. On May 30, 1948, the Memorial Day Flood washed away Vanport, at least 15 people lost their lives, 18,000 residents became homeless and an entire community was lost.
Waterline is a water quality pond that captures the storm drain run off from the parking lots and filters the water, making a substantial contribution to the ecologically delicate Columbia Slough and adjacent wetlands. The arcs of steel connect the water with the land, resemble the pumps of the engineered landscape and refer to the Liberty ships produced by the citizens of Vanport. The monolith embodies the three elements of the site - water, industry, and the historic natural wetland.