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Bits & Pieces: Pittock Mansion's 100th

by: COURTESY OF PITTOCK MANSION - Designed by Edward Foulkes, the Pittock Mansion had state-of-the-art for 1914, and the city of Portland has kept the famed estate in nice shape as its 100th birthday approaches.Flash back 100 years, and the house being built by businessman Henry Pittock and his wife, Georgiana, stood as something the city of Portland had never seen before — a state-of-the-art mansion, featuring progressive features such as a central vacuum system, intercoms and indirect lighting, while also incorporating Turkish, English and French designs, Oregon craftsmen and artisans, and Northwest materials.

Designed by architect Edward Foulkes, the 46-acre estate also included a three-car garage, greenhouse and servants’ residence.

When the Pittocks moved into the place in 1914, they truly lived in a palace on the hill, 1,000 feet above downtown.

Henry and Georgiana, honored folks of the emerging Portland in the late 1800s and early 1900s, each died within five years of living there, but their family occupied the mansion until the late 1950s. Later, the city of Portland purchased the estate and assumed curatorship, and it became known as Pittock Mansion.

So, the 100th anniversary of its completion will be celebrated throughout 2014. The highlights:

• From Feb. 1 to 10, there’ll be free admission, as visitors explore the 23 rooms at their own pace or on a guided tour.

• From Feb. 1 to July 1, there’ll be a feature called “Building Pittock Mansion,” which explores the background of the Pittocks’ jewel on the hill.

• On July 13, the 100th birthday party takes place.

For information, go to www.pittockmansion.org.

Crystal’s 100th

The year 1914 must have been a big year in Portland, because the Crystal Ballroom also celebrates its 100th birthday in 2014. The Crystal has been celebrating — with musical acts — with 100 days of partying from Oct. 14 through Jan. 21. Colin Meloy of The Decemberists plays at the Crystal on Jan. 21. For info: www.mcmenamins.com.

Portland Comic Con

Our city will be the first stop on the 16-city Wizard World Comic Con 2014 tour. The Portland event takes place Jan. 24 to 26

Marvel Comics plans to offer exclusive comics at the Wizard World shows, free to VIP attendees — at Portland, it’ll be “Miracleman #1.”

For info: www.wizardworld.com/home-portland.html.

Ziggy the otter

by: COURTESY OF MICHAEL DURHAM/OREGON ZOO - The Oregon Zoos young sea otter goes by Zigzag, or Ziggy, after a public vote for a name. Trask and Willamette were other options.After a public vote, Oregon Zoo’s baby river otter has been named Zigzag — Ziggy for short — after the 12-mile Sandy River tributary that flows down Mount Hood through Zigzag Canyon.

“A lot of the animals here get their names from nations or cultures associated with the species’ native habitats,” says Julie Christie, senior keeper for the zoo’s North America area, in a news release. “For the river otters, we like to choose names based on local waterways.”

Ziggy and mother Tilly are doing well, Christie adds. The young pup, born Nov. 8, has opened his eyes and started to walk.

“Young river otters are very dependent on their moms, and Tilly has been very nurturing,” Christie says. “She did a great job with her first pup, Mo, earlier this year. She raised him up from this tiny, helpless creature into the sleek, agile, full-grown otter he is today. We’re confident Tilly will be a great mom to her new pup as well.”

The mother, in fact, has to teach the pup to swim.

Tilly was found orphaned near Johnson Creek in 2009; the father, B.C. (short for Buttercup), was found orphaned near Star City, Ark., in 2009.

Symphony recording

The Oregon Symphony has been working on its third CD under Music Director Carlos Kalmar and for PentaTone, and the finishing touches will be put on Jan. 5 at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall with the recording of Copland’s “Third Symphony.” The recording starts at 4 p.m., and a limited number of general admission tickets are for sale (see: www.orsymphony.org). Sound engineer John Newton, a three-time Grammy Award winner, and producer Blanton Alspaugh won classical Grammys in 2013 for the Symphony’s “Music for a Time of War.”

The third CD also will include George Antheil’s “Jazz Symphony” and Walter Piston’s suite from “The Incredible Flutist.”

RACC awards

The Regional Arts & Culture Council has awarded $661,543 in project grants for 2014, including 60 grants to nonprofit organizations and schools and 88 individual artists in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties. It’s a 10.7 percent drop in project grants from last year, attributable to budget cuts from the city of Portland, RACC’s big funding source. Only 42 percent of requests were fully or partially funded.

RACC’s collection

Meanwhile, RACC has announced the addition of 17 art works to “The Visual Chronicle of Portland” collection, a city-owned collection of works on paper that focuses on artists’ views of the city’s social and urban landscapes. Since 1985, the archived collection has grown to 320 pieces by 193 different artists, displayed at city and county buildings; some works are held temporarily at the RACC office, 411 N.W. Park Ave.

The collection can be browsed at www.racc.org/visualchronicle.

‘Sherlock’ continues

“The International Exhibition of Sherlock Holmes” continues at OMSI, as museum visitors will learn how the fictional Holmes used seemingly trivial observations or clues others missed to solve some of his era’s most puzzling mysteries — created, of course, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

The exhibit goes through Jan. 5 at OMSI, 1945 S.E. Water Ave. (www.omsi.edu). Admission: $18 adults, $13 youth (3-13) and seniors (63-older); discounts for members.

OMSI’s new theater

Meanwhile, OMSI has opened its renovated Empirical Theater, which includes a four-story screen, enhanced audio and visual and 3D capability.

The fully digital theater can provide live satellite feeds and Blu-ray. OMSI became the first museum in North America with a state-of-the-art Dolby Atmos surround sound system.

Tables have replaced some seats and an expanded food and beverage menu will be implemented in coming weeks.

Current documentaries being shown are “Great White Shark,” “Jerusalem” and “Mysteries of the Unseen World.”

In January, the Empirical will launch its monthly Reel Science, which combines movies and expert speakers; it kicks off with Laika folks talking about the magic and science of “Coraline,” Jan. 15.

For info: www.omsi.edu/empirical-theater.

Oh, so close

Dave Wiegand of Portland, a longtime stalwart and national champion in 2005 and 2009, made the semifinals of the recent Scrabble Champions Tournament in Prague, Czech Republic. Wiegand lost to eventual champion Nigel Richards.