Artist Ted Zahn has long traveled the country photographing dive bars, clubs and storefronts, influenced by the likes of Stephen Shore, Ed Ruscha and John Margolies.
Cooped up during the pandemic, he dug into his prints and memory bank—with occasional assistance from the internet—to start a series of what he terms “little digital restorations,” celebrating the architecture, history and signage of such cities as Austin, New York and Chicago, as well as the three cities Zahn has lived in: Milwaukee, San Francisco and, for the past 12 years, Portland, with 5% of sales going to nonprofits, including the Portland Architectural Heritage Center.
“I try to celebrate places that mean something to people,” says Zahn, whose personal favorites include Apizza Scholls (“if I had to choose a last meal...”) and The Alibi (“I’ve performed there, badly, several times”).
Among the others in his Portland series are the Original Hotcake House, Huber’s Cafe, Nick’s Famous Coney Island, Kelly’s Olympian and the Palms Motor Hotel. Coming soon: Wonder Ballroom, Crystal Ballroom and Laurelhurst Theater.