Restore Oregon announces most endangered buildings for 2020

The Mayo House, constructed in 1895, is a Queen Anne Cottage with a complex history. Source. 

Restore Oregon has unveiled its list of Oregon’s Most Endangered Places for 2020. From their website:

Nominated from people and organizations across the state, Oregon’s Most Endangered Places list sheds light on important examples of our state’s heritage that are at risk of destruction or irreparable damage. The 2020 list includes endangered places from communities that for too long have been underserved–that embody Oregon’s diverse cultural heritage and require concerted efforts to be retained and passed forward.

I’m especially excited about the Mayo House:

The Mayo House now sits on the property, representing an opportunity to repair a grave injustice. The Davises envision the Mayo House with a multipurpose future by creating a hub for African American arts, history, and culture.

 

A look at Portland’s oldest neighborhood; Widmer closes; Saving the Mayo house

Portland’s North End
If you’re not reading Street Roots, buy a copy from any of its vendors around town. Not only do they report on homeless (and other) issues they do a great job doing it. Proof: this piece on the history of Old Town and how it’s transformed through the years. It’s written by Doug Kenck-Crispin, co-producer of the podcast Kick Ass Oregon History so you know it’s solid.

Widmer closes
Some of us were surprised, others not so much: Widmer has shut its N. Russell pub. In 2017, they stopped serving food at the same location. The venerable brewer will still produce beers, you just can’t go to its pub to drink them.

 Widmer, before it was Widmer. Source.

Mayo house saved
What a great story: Local artist saves historic home, will move it to where the family’s long-lost apartment once stood and will renovate it —and open it to the public  “where historians, artists and members of the black community can preserve and create culture.”

 

The Redd ready; Portland Plaza facelift; O’Bryant Square closed until …2023?

Here’s a roundup of building, design and development news around Portland.

The Redd ready to open
The Redd by Ecotrust will take up two city blocks and function as an “urban ecosystem for the regional food economy.”  In its final phase of construction, it’s expected to open for full operation by the end of the year.  Here’s a feature from Lost Oregon a couple years back on its history and vision.

 The red Redd.  Source.  

The red Redd. Source.  

The Portland Plaza gets a facelift
The Portland Plaza just finished its 10-year, $10 million renovation and Brian Libby from Portland Architecture has an in-depth look. 

When it was completed in 1973, just three years after the Keller Fountain (known then as the Forecourt Fountain), the idea of contemporary or luxury living in Portland, especially in a tower, was new.

 Portland Plaza and Lawrence Halprin's Keller Fountain put on a show via a postcard.

Portland Plaza and Lawrence Halprin’s Keller Fountain put on a show via a postcard.

O’Bryant Square closed until …2023?
The DJC is reporting that the redevelopment of downtown Portland’s O’Bryant Square may take until 2023. The public space has been shuttered since March due to structural issues. The fence is so welcoming, too.

 O'Bryant Square in better times, circa 1976.

O’Bryant Square in better times, circa 1976.

Urban walking isn’t just good for the soul. It could save humanity
That’s not my headline —it’s from the Guardian, and it’s a good one. The nugget: walking around cities is good for your health and it’s good for the businesses that inhabit downtowns. You just don’t see the details when you’re driving. Case in point: Hopping off the Orange Line at PSU yesterday to watch the Timbers (win, whew), we strolled up Jefferson to the Goose Hollow Inn for a pre-match beer. The furthest I’d been up Jefferson was OHS, but as we walked I was surprised that I’d never been on this stretch before. Just when you think you’ve seen every block in downtown.

A stroll through Portland’s West End

James Cook, director of retail research in the Americas for JLL, has an interesting podcast called Where We Buy, “a show about the things we buy and the places we buy them.”

 Source. 

In his most recent episode he explores Portland’s West End with Jonathan Ledesma, a partner with developer Project^. They talk about the challenges, opportunities and the transformation of the West End through adaptive reuse.

 Union Way: The shops may have changed since its opening,  but the design still shines. 

Union Way: The shops may have changed, but the design still shines. 

The two projects highlighted include Blackbox, a retail and creative space in a historic brick building, and Union Way, the shopping alley that connects two streets through two former night clubs. I’m probably not the target shopping audience for Union Way but I still love its aesthetics, the vibe, the design (those flush-mounted floor lights…), and the fact that it magically empties out to Powell’s (how convenient). It’s the perfect example of a building being reborn as a fun and useful space.

Grab a beverage and give the episodes a listen.

Opening the Locks at the Willamette Falls? Maybe.

The Willamette Falls project is one of the biggest undertakings the Portland metro area has seen. It’s had some bumps and stops along the way (that’s an understatement) since the paper mill closed in 2011 but for the most part, it’s back on track.

First up will be a new riverwalk, with plans designed by Snøhetta. Then it’s anyone’s guess what will happen next, from mixed use something-something, condos, shopping. It’s going to change the McLoughlin corridor, from Milwaukie to Oregon City. If you’ve ever driven on McLoughlin and seen the car lots, strip joints, this is a good thing.

And, just last week it was announced there’s yet another new plan: Possibly reopening the decommissioned Willamette Falls Locks. The Willamette Falls Locks Commission (appointed by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown) is working to advise state, local and regional stakeholders on the “development and implementation of policies relating to the repair, reopening, operation and maintenance of the Willamette Falls navigation canal and Locks.”

The Locks are currently owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who shuttered the Locks in 2011. But, according to a Local Economic Potential Study conducted by ECONorthwest, Oregon could see tremendous economic benefits from recommissioning the Locks. The study found that over the next 30 years:

  • Transportation benefits of $12-$49 million
  • Recreation benefits of $12-$50 million
  • 80,000-220,000 truck trips removed from Portland area roads
  Source.   Stern-wheel steamboat Grahamona in the Willamette Falls locks, sometime between 1912 and 1918.

Stern-wheel steamboat Grahamona in the Willamette Falls locks, mid-1900s.

Reopening the Locks and returning navigational access around Willamette Falls holds tremendous historical and cultural value to Oregonians, and to the state’s Native American tribes.

Plus? It’d be cool to travel past the Falls and beyond in the Willamette in a boat or on a kayak, right? Crossing our fingers on this one and we’ll be writing much more on this amazing project.

Zidell Yards statement on next steps, wood skyscraper DOA, Portland Building…leggings?

More on Zidell Yards
Jay Zidell, president of ZRZ Realty Company, released a statement on their site today. Here’s a blurb from it:

After lengthy negotiations with the City of Portland, we’ve decided to mutually terminate the Development Agreement for Zidell Yards.

It comes down to two simple things: the cost of public infrastructure and the need to secure outside funding. The public infrastructure that would have been a part of Zidell Yards included ten acres of new public parks and Greenway, new public docks and a publicly accessible beach as well as the extension of Bond Avenue and significant investments in affordable housing.

We were happy to contribute as much as we could to these projects, but we compete for financing with projects across the city and nation. Zidell Yards could not bear the sizable additional infrastructure costs the City was requesting and still generate the market returns needed to secure outside funding.

Central Eastside gets (yet) another new tenant
After nearly 10 years on Mississippi Avenue, Animal Traffic is relocating to the Central Eastside. Well known for their vintage clothes, Animal Traffic will occupy a 2.465 SF space with a 1,650 SF showroom in the newly renovated Taylor Works Building at 134 SE Taylor Street. Alongside their highly curated clothing selection will be a new shoe lounge. Animal Traffic will be an exclusive retailer of Dr. Marten’s Made in England line for men and women.

Tower of wood no more
Willamette Week reported that the “deal to build a record-setting wooden Portland tower that was expected to be the tallest in North America is off.” It was going to be 12 stories tall and constructed from cross-laminated timber. Reason: the costs were too high.

Portland Building Leggings
It’s exactly what you think it is. Portland Design Events, the “premier website for finding and sharing architecture and design-related events in Portland, Oregon,” (and a favorite site of ours) also has a store where you can buy Portland design-inspired items. Like? Like these Portland Building leggings.

Headline of the week: CVS commits urban malpractice with generic store designs that poison neighborhoods
One, the Dallas Morning News has an architecture critic. That’s rad. How many daily newspaper have an architecture critic any more? (Thankfully we have Brian Libby’s Portland Architecture.) Two, this review takes apart a new Dallas CVS, piece by piece. Here’s a nice nugget:

The interior design is manipulative, but the exteriors are worse, for they actively encourage unhealthy behavior by abetting an auto-centric lifestyle and making the city actively worse for anyone who would prefer or requires other means of mobility, above all walking.

Orange Line Ale Trail; Westmoreland church for sale; new Central Eastside shuttle

The Orange Line Ale Trail
Ok, it’s not really a thing but it could be, drinking beers without driving, from downtown Milwaukie to Tilikum Crossing. Here’s a quick take on your beery adventure.

 Orange Line Ale Trail.  Source

First (or last) stop: Beer Store Milwaukie. Revolving taps, OK food, bottles and cans.

Next stop: Ruse Brewing, located in the Iron Fireman Collective building (after 7/14!).

Hop back on Max,t hen get off at the Clinton stop and head to Apex, BeerMongers then Los Gorditos. Depending on your state, you can get back on Max or walk to Tilikum Crossing Bridge to enjoy more beers at the recently opened Mt. Hood Brewery at Tilikum Station. If you’re feeling adventurous, hoof it down Water Avenue for 20 minutes where you can hit up Hair of the Dog, Produce Row Cafe, and Wayfinder. (But that’s a different post for a different kind of blog.)

Update: Looks like The Portland Mercury thinks the same thing. 

 Mt. Hood Brewery's new spot offers beers, pizza, a refurbished caboose as a dining room, and a front-row seat of the Orange Line and train museum across the street. 

Mt. Hood Brewery’s new spot offers beers, pizza, a refurbished caboose as a dining room, and a front-row seat of the Orange Line and train museum across the street.

New shuttle in Central Eastside
Not to keep talking about beer, but… if you want to keep your beerventure going (or need to get to work) you can always keep walking down Water Avenue to a handful of breweries and taprooms. Or? Take the just-launched Water Avenue Courtesy Shuttle, for free. It runs from 6:30am to 9:30am and 4pm-7pm. with stops including the Dairy Building parking lot, Oregon Rail Heritage Center parking lot, North OMSI parking lot, ODOT Block parking lot, Eastside Exchange parking lot and Oregon Convention Center. Prowling around Central Eastside yesterday, we saw it cruise by pretty frequently.

Mid-century church in Westmoreland a goner?
We always liked this mid-century church building but it might not be around for very much longer. Though the land is currently zoned R-1 and R-5, there’s a pending zone change of the entire site to R-1, a medium-density residential zone. Allowed uses include condominiums, apartments, duplexes, townhouses, and row homes. We’ll be watching what happens next.

  Source. 

Nature in the city
A quick note for NextDoor posters that post (which seems like every week) that they SPOTTED A COYOTE ON OUR STREET HOW DID IT GET HERE THIS IS A GOOD NEIGHBORHOOD: those coyotes aren’t going anywhere (and were probably there first). In fact, they might be trotting around your backyard even more while you sleep.

According to new research, human activity is forcing mammals to become more active during the night—because humans are disrupting them. Night noises just got more interesting.

So long, Lotus Cafe; New brewery & drinking map in Central Eastside; Overland Warehouse retrofit

The Lotus is no more
Avert your eyes if you don’t want to see the destruction of The Lotus. The Oregonian reported that it originally opened in 1906 (!!) at the corner of Southwest Third Avenue and Salmon Street as the Hotel Albion. The building was known for the Lotus Café and Cardroom from 1924. It continued as a hopping nightspot until its closure in 2016. YouTuber Steve the Historian hustled down there and shot some video:

Mt. Hood Brewing opens its Central Eastside location this weekend
Snuggled at the foot of the Tilikum Bridge at a former TriMet transfer station (now called Bruun Dock Studios) we think the location will work for them. Even if they only got commuters hopping off the Orange Line for a quick pint and a pizza they’ll rock it. Another win for Central Eastside.

  Source, 

Speaking of the Central Eastside (and booze)
The folks at Conveyor have put together a micro-site of the history of the Central Eastside as well as a map of places to grab a drink. You can walk, hike, even bike it. (If you drive it, you won’t find parking. And if you’re drinking you shouldn’t be driving. Wags finger.) If you’re old school like me, look for hard copies of the map at selected establishments.

  Source. 

Adaptive reuse of the week: Overland Warehouse
Originally built as a warehouse in 1889, Overland Warehouse has served as temporary housing for immigrant families, a neighborhood market, and a nightclub over the years.

In 2016, UD+P completed a full renovation that preserved and restored its historic structural elements while adding modern features that are needed for today’s creative office tenants. Unique among older brick buildings in downtown Portland, Overland features a stunning atrium built into the third floor that brings light down to the center of the building.

As part of the renovation, the building underwent a complete seismic retrofit.

And, just last month Restore Oregon presented the Overland Warehouse design and development team with a 2018 DeMuro Award.

Guild Theatre gets new life; mid-century in Milwaukie; new pedestrian bridge in Forest Park

We’ve got to admit it was touch and go with the Guild. It was in disrepair for years, then vacant. (Buildings that are vacant for long periods of time always us nervous.) It was originally built in 1927 as the Taylor Street Theatre until 1948 when it was renamed, renovated in 1956, then closed in 2006. But wait! It was renovated in 2016. Original plans called for it to be used as a theater, but that came to pass. Until this year, it sat vacant. And now, Willamette Week reports that it will get a new resident—Japan’s Kinokuniya Books. Chalk that up as a win. 

  Source. 

Milwaukie Cleaners closing

Dry cleaners closing their doors isn’t exactly breaking news. However, this one piques our interest. One, it’s a cool structure. Two, it’s a hidden mid-century gem. Three, it would make a great spot for something other than a dry cleaner? Restaurant? Beer-something? Coffee shop? Market? The Architecture Heritage Center did a walking tour of downtown Milwaukie last year that (we think) that featured it. (They’re doing another one in the fall.)

  Source.

Beers Made by Walking and a new pedestrian bridge in Forest Park
If you’ve never done the Beers Made by Walking hike, do it. Last weekend, we had the chance to wander around with Forest Park folks and brewers from Hopworks and Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider. The two-hour walk provided a chance to see a new Metro trail under construction, a 500-year-old cedar, and a forest —mere miles from downtown Portland.

Closer to town on Burnside in Forest Park it was recently announced the Burnside Wildwood Trail crossing has enough funds to be built. After support from myriad of sources, including Portland Parks & Recreation, Metro, major family and public foundations, private donations, and crowdsourcing, construction is predicted to start in late summer.

 Based on a stunning design inspired by the concept of a “bridge floating in the woods” by Ed Carpenter, an artist from Portland.  Source. 

Based on a stunning design inspired by the concept of a “bridge floating in the woods” by Ed Carpenter, an artist from Portland. Source. 

 

Renovating on SE Grand, property for sale in Oak Grove, Willamette Falls back on track

Michael Andersen looks at Portland’s infamous 1924 rezoning legacy that launched a “century of exclusion.”  Great news! After a brief hiccup, the Willamette Falls riverwalk project is back on track. (Sorry—PBJ subscribers only.)

Park Avenue Max stop property for sale 

For sale across from the Park Avenue Max stop—four parcels for a total of 27,014 SF lot. The site also includes a 4,752 SF industrial-flex building. The property is “ideal for owner use or a redevelopment opportunity.” Source.

Down in Oak Grove at the last Max stop, a key piece of property has been listed for sale. The whole corner is ripe for development. On one side you have the station, across from that is Max parking, then a 7-Eleven. With a local organization (Oak Grove is unincorporated) working with the county to re-imagine the intersection (e.g., introducing code so more sprawl doesn’t get thrown up on McLoughlin) this might be a viable intersection someday.

Old 70s building gets new look
Lorentz Bruun Construction announced on its Instagram page that they’re in the process of renovating an old furniture store on Grand (716 SE Grand). Built in 1904, the brick-cladded building had a modern facade plopped on in 1979. The building is next to Dig a Pony and Kachka. Bruun recently adapted the Iron Fireman warehouse building (1721-1799 SE Schiller St.) in SE Portland (coming soon: Ruse Brewing) and are working on the new Central Eastside Mt. Hood Brewery location at OMSI.

 There's brick behind that 1970s facade.  Source.  

There’s brick behind that 1970s facade. Source.