An observation, a moment of joy, a moment of sorrow

Here’s what I saw on my walk to Laurie and Burt’s house.

We last saw this house in July, it having been stripped down to the just the front facade. It is now rising up again, adding a new level. I look forward to seeing the final product.

I gasped with joy when I walked around the corner and this beautiful mural came into view. I want a beautiful mural on my house too!

The Brigadoon House. I tell the story of this house in July 2014.  Short version: while partaking of my morning jog during my first years in the neighborhood, I found a house I loved. And then I couldn’t find it again. Where had it gone? Had it been torn down?  Disappeared for 100 years? Eventually I figured out I was choosing the wrong street and the house was still there!

Today however, it was not.

I hate to see houses like this go, because I love sub-1000 square foot houses. According to Portland Maps, this house (7033 N. Fenwick) is 480 square feet. Or was.  It sold for $150,000 in 2009 and–this is why we have so many homeless people in Portland–$285,000 in September of 2017.  

Fun PortlandMaps extra: historic plumbing permits, including one from 1942.

I will miss the Brigadoon House, and I’m sorry it did not survive long enough for me to buy and live in it.

NW Hoyt & 18th not long for this world? Or will it stay?

I snapped a picture of this building and then did some research on what’s happening with it. As usual the Next Portland site was very helpful.

1727 NW Hoyt was originally built as a maternity hospital, most recently was an office building and has been vacant since 2007. In 2014 the developer applied for a demolition permit, but was rebuffed.  The most recent update is from 2015, with talk of converting it to boutique hotel rooms.  It’s certainly got good parking for that purpose. However, the time that has passed has me wondering if that is what will come to pass.

Residential among the commercial

This is a bank of three houses at the corner of NE Couch and 8th. They’re surrounded by a bunch of industrial buildings and I’m surprised they have survived this long.

However, they do not have much in the way of backyards. Instead, their former backyards are now a parking lot for the apartment building behind them.

The most awesome Portland Maps site tells me that all three houses are owned by Volunteers of America. One was bought in 1989 for $63,000, another in 2001 for $450,000.  There’s no data on the sale of the third one.

I would assume that these are either used as halfway houses, or other things for VOA’s many programs, so perhaps not entirely residential, but yet more commercial among the commercial.

The North Park Blocks Playground as we knew it is no more.

For more than nine years I worked for The Emerson School and for more than nine years I did recess duty at the playground across the street from the school. I’ve watched kids play every imaginable game in this space. I’ve sat with a child stuck in the play structure while the firemen came with the jaws of life to move the steel enough so she could pull her leg out. I’ve watched kids year after year play the game where they try to catch falling leaves in the autumn and try to catch whirling seed pods in the spring.

And now the playground as I knew it is no more.

8/3/18

The steel play structure and the swings came down first.

8/8/18

But the object I called the ziggurut needed to be sledgehammered bit by bit.

8/9/18

They pulled up the soft landing material.

And broke up all the concrete.  This cupola-type object was a top the ziggurat. Kids who were good climbers would like to hide in the peak, wedging themselves in all four corners, Spider-man-style. They weren’t allowed.

So far this lamp is staying.

It looks like they’re going for a totally clean slate, as evidenced by these large hunks of concrete.

I’m not sad to see the playground being revitalized. It was built in 1990, which was my sophomore year of high school, which was a long time ago. It’s had a good run and now it’s time for a new way for children to play.

Also, because The Emerson School has moved to a new location, this doesn’t affect how recess will work. They’ve been talking about redoing the playground for years and it was always a bit of a conundrum, trying to figure out an alternative place for the children to play.

End of life for this tree

There will be a new building at the corner of 12th & Flanders. Looking at the sketch it looks like it will be a lot taller than the buildings that surround it.

The height isn’t as much of a problem as the fact that this lovely tree will be cut down in order to build another tall building.

I don’t always feel sad about big trees coming down. I was downright giddy when my neighbor cut down the large tree that dropped a ton of annoying branches and served as a home for many aphids that dropped sticky substances on the car.

But I’ve always liked the way this tree shades the parking lot and towers over the intersection.

Though it is old, it doesn’t look old enough to be a heritage tree, so we shall eventually lose it.

The Emerson School: No longer at 105 NW Park Ave.

Here’s the building where I spent nine years of my working life.  And as of last week, it’s a building that no longer houses the school I used to work for.

That’s right!  After 15 years at this location, The Emerson School has found a new home in Northwest Portland.

In moving closer to get a picture of the “For Lease” sign I laughed at the site of the wagon wheel, which somehow managed to escape both the junk collectors and the movers. I guess the next tenant will get to decide what to do with it. (I don’t think there will be a next tenant. I’m guessing this building will be pulled down.)

A nice time capsule of the color the room used to be (fuscha and turquoise) before Bre repainted it a more soothing color.

I am so incredibly glad I did not have to do anything to facilitate this move (two days of the junk people and five days of the actual movers) and I’m very excited for The Emerson School’s new home.

Comfy Inn: The motel is a changing

Stuff is going on with the former Comfy Inn. I first profiled it on the Orange Door website in this post. The motel is even featured in the first three pictures, so you don’t have to scroll far.

In the years since that post, it’s had a stint as some sort of transitional-type housing for women with children. But now, it’s in the process of being disassembled.

I assumed this was going to become another tall mixed-use building, but it seems that that is not the case. My favorite website Next Portland tells me that:

Early Assistance has been requested by DECA Architecture for a project at 8355 N Interstate Ave:

Conversion of motel to apartments. Minor changes include: New walls, doors, lighting, paint, signage, and new finishes.

This is interesting. We shall see what they will charge for apartments in a converted motel. And how will the kitchen situation work?

Small house probably not long for this world

This house is right next to the Bethel Lutheran Church, but it looks too small to have ever been a rectory or clergy house.  I’m guessing that if there was a rectory, it was in the space the parking lot is now taking up, behind the church.

This house was built in 1927 and is 502 square feet. It was advertised for sale “as is” and said it would have to be a cash buyer on the sign. That usually means a tear down  It sold for $235,000 on April 19, so expect that soon there will be a monolith sprouting here. It’s got some nice details that I will miss.  Not to mention the loss of yet another sub-1000 square foot house. Not everyone wants a big place.

Some things found on Burnside

It was a sunny day–the first in a long time. There wasn’t much to do at work and the Laurelhurst announced that they were changing from a second-run to a first-run theater. My friend S. North and I made plans to see one last movie for $3.00. And I decided to walk from work to the theater.

This is a well-trod route for me, but here are some fun things I saw:

I’ve recently learned that the reason this building and the Hippo Hardware building (see below) have arcades, is that they were built before Burnside was widened. When it was, the ground floors were pulled back to make an arcade.

You can see the transition a little more clearly in this picture.

Here’s the Hippo Hardware building which has the same feature. This building will be torn down in 2–5 years. Hippo Hardware says their landlord has been awesome for 26 years and continues to be awesome (thus, the long lead time), but that something else will be built here so they will most likely move. Ironically, I rarely walk on this side of Burnside. But construction of a building (probably a building that will look much like the one that will replace the Hippo Hardware building) made me cross the street. Upside?  I got some pictures I wouldn’t have normally taken.

Closer to the Laurelhurst Theater, I noticed that the building of Burnside 26 has infringed on the sign of the now-defunct Chinese Restaurant.

I’m not sure how building code allowed that to happen. I’m also impressed the construction people didn’t knock holes in it.