The City of Portland had a dream. Metro Murals, a city program from Charlie Hales' 1998 amendment to Portland signage laws, was going to "bring art into everyday life." Modeled on successful mural programs in Tempe, Ariz. and Philadelphia, it was going to develop a registry and map of Portland murals.

That never happened.

Instead, some poor intern was sent around to take pictures of everything deemed a "painted-on wall sign," which would become a "grandfathered" wall and be immune to the new, stricter signage laws.

Some murals in 1999 were less traditionally artistic:

(City of Portland photo – 1999)
(City of Portland photo – 1999)

Others were like Packy. "Packy was a mural…" begins the Wiki page for the elephant painting on Old Town's Skidmore Fountain building, which was razed in 2008 for Mercy Corp's headquarters.

Packy mural by Eric Larson (1990, photo taken in 1999)
Packy mural by Eric Larson (1990, photo taken in 1999)
(photo from the American Institute of Architects/ Jeff Amram)
(photo from the American Institute of Architects/ Jeff Amram)

We give you, Portland Murals 1999 and present:

River City Bicycles (706 SE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd.)

(photo from the City of Portland, 1999)
(photo from the City of Portland, 1999)
(photo by Nick Rosener)
(photo by Nick Rosener)

Belmont Market (3400 SE Belmont St.)

(photo from the City of Portland, 1999)
(photo from the City of Portland, 1999)
(photo grom Google, 2016)
(photo grom Google, 2016)
(photo from the City of Portland, 1999)
(photo from the City of Portland, 1999)
(photo from Google, 2016)
(photo from Google, 2016)

Andy and Bax (324 SE Grand Ave.)

(photo from the City of Portland, 1999)
(photo from the City of Portland, 1999)
(photo from Google, 2016)
(photo from Google, 2016)

BTU Brasserie (5846 NE Sandy Blvd.)

(photo from the City of Portland, 1999)
(photo from the City of Portland, 1999)
(photo from Google, 2016)
(photo from Google, 2016)

Machine (4018 N. Williams Ave.)

(photo from the City of Portland, 1999)
(photo from the City of Portland, 1999)
Christine Dong
Christine Dong

City Bikes Annex (734 SE Ankeny St.)

City Bikes Annex, 1999
City Bikes Annex, 1999
City Bikes Annex 2016
City Bikes Annex 2016

We also mapped 131 "grandfathered" walls, with photos.