After three decades at LA firm Altoon + Porter, founding partner James F. Porter is leaving to become a principal at the Jerde Partnership. Porter, who met business partner Ron Altoon while working at Frank Gehry’s office in the ’70s, co-founded Altoon + Porter in 1984. Hoping to leave more room for young partners, Altoon + Porter included a clause in their partnership specifying that they retire at age 65. “Sixty five came along in a nanosecond,” said Porter, who managed to adjust the agreement to stay on a little longer. But at age 70, it was time to go, he said.
At Jerde, Porter will focus on development in Asia, which is by far the firm’s biggest market. Porter, one of the profession’s great frequent flyers, launched Altoon + Porter’s Hong Kong, Singapore, and Shanghai offices, and has worked in Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Nanjing, Qingdao, Wuhan, Saudi Arabia, and Sydney, among other parts of the Pacific Rim. “They’re happy to have this old guy who doesn’t feel old. I feel like I’m 45,” joked Porter, who has known Jerde Partnership founder Jon Jerde since 1966. That’s 46 years.