NE MLK JR Blvd and NE Shaver St, Portland, OR.

From mountain to neighborhood, people and place are connected.

Mountainhood combines ideas of watershed stewardship with the layers of people and things that make up a place over time. The overall shape and name of the installation bring together mountain and neighborhood to create an expanded sense of home.

For the project, two downspouts were disconnected to reduce the amount of stormwater entering the sewer system. Allowing stormwater to seep into the landscape locally helps keep rivers clean, nurtures plants and creates habitat.

The art framework collects the water that flows off the building and directs it to steel boxes hanging on the wire mesh. Items from nature and culture, such as; stones, tree rounds, colorful tiles and plastic pieces; create patterns that read across the boxes like mosaics or the layering of soil. The plantings on the framework are part of an experiment to see which ones might survive/thrive in this harsh green wall environment. Plants will be added and removed from time to time. The images hanging in a layer of their own are from photos of a much-loved mural painted by Charlotte Lewis that was on this wall.

This project was created in partnership with Microenterprise Services of Oregon (MESO), this is their office building, and it was grant funded by Portland’s Community Watershed Stewardship Program.


Fabrication assistance: Richard Cawley, Jakub Jerzy, Rusch & Sons, Elisabeth Tschalaer,

Rain garden creation assistance: Groundwork Portland’s Green Team

Planting assistance: Casey Cunningham, Anne Lavallee, Jen Marsicek, Jason Roberts

Photographs of Charlotte Lewis’ mural were taken by Tom Leach

Signage: Impact Sign Co.