For those of you unfamiliar with this wonderful and unexpected work of architecture, here is what "Wikipedia" has to say about "our" column:
The tower was built in 1926 with financing by the Great Northern
Railway and Vincent Astor, the great-grandson of John Jacob Astor, in
commemoration of the city's role in the family's business history. The Column
was dedicated on July 22, 1926. The first Community Antenna Television (CATV)
System in the United States was built in 1949 utilizing the column. In 1974,
the column was listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The murals
that make up the column were refurbished in 1995 and a granite plaza was added
The 125-foot (38 m)-tall column stands atop 600-foot (180 m)-tall Coxcomb Hill and includes an interior spiral staircase that leads to an observation deck at the top. The spiral sgrafitto frieze on the exterior of the structure is almost seven feet wide, and 525 feet (160 m) long. Painted by Electus D. Litchfield and Attilio Pusterla, the mural shows 14 significant events in the early history of Oregon with a focus on Astoria's role including Captain Gray's discovery of the Columbia River in 1792 and the Lewis & Clark Expedition.
Designed to resemble the Roman Trajan's Column, the Astoria Column was built of
concrete and has a 12-foot (3.7 m) deep foundation. Built at a cost of
$27,133.96, the tower has 164 steps to the top, where there is a replica of the
State Seal of Oregon.
And, oh...by the way--I have climbed the spiral staircase that winds up the center (a few years agol..in the daylight.) All hundred-and-however-many steps. The view from the top is incredible...but that's a picture for a different day. Anyhow, it looked very cool in the dark...