It is with the heaviest of hearts that we say farewell to Pat Harrington, who passed away last week. Pat was a managing principal of Bora, an optimistic champion of others and, most significantly, a beloved personal friend. He was with Bora for nearly three decades, providing unique insight as a non-architect. Joining our practice fresh off the heels of managing the Portland Center for the Performing Arts, Pat quickly proved to be gifted in both business development and firm leadership.
Pat left an indelible legacy with Bora. His connectedness to the performing arts world catapulted us to a national platform in performing arts and higher education, with his innovative management of our practice helping earn us the AIA Northwest & Pacific Region Firm of the Year Award. His creative ingenuity and care for people led to the creation of our treasured Bora Beach House for employees, while his vision for broader civic life established partnerships and practices within the arts and architectural communities that continue to this day. For his many accomplishments Pat was awarded an honorary AIA membership in 2019 — a remarkable testament to the breadth and depth of his impact.
To know the greatness of Pat was to know his generous spirit. He brought warmth and empathy, an infectious laugh, and a curiosity for the world to the many who knew him. He was a well-connected marketer (the “Kevin Bacon” of architectural marketing, we like to say), but also a thoughtful friend and dedicated mentor, excited about the potential of young leaders. As the ultimate cheerleader, he found genuine joy in others’ successes.
Ask anyone and they’ll tell you that Pat had a signature phrase around the office: “Onward!” This rallying cry embraced the future with both resilience and hope. It’s posted on our wall, but also emblazoned on the heart of Bora. And while the world has lost a great light in Pat and we grieve his loss, we are forever grateful that a man of such character and principle would join our firm for the ride. He accomplished incredible things for Bora, but more importantly, he taught us to be better humans. So we move forward, taking him with us as we do.
Onward, Mr. Harrington.