The rest of the walk

This particular Friday, I took off of work for one of my favorite kind of no-work days: a day with no plan.  After blogging, I decided to walk to the ballot drop box to turn in my ballot.  That turned into a very long walk, because I further decided to walk down Interstate to take some pictures of some buildings that would be destroyed to build a mixed-use complex. You can read that post here.  I also combined this with looking for Help Wanted signs. Not for me, but because Job Spotter pays me in Amazon credit for each one I find.  I’ll have more about that at the end of the month.  In the meantime, here are my pictures from my walk.

When I moved to Kenton, this block was a KFC.  It went out of business after maybe a year.  Eventually the building was pulled down and the lot sat with a chain link fence around it for some time. But now: apartments.  A lot of them.  No parking either, which is unfortunate, as Lombard does not have any street parking, so all of these apartment dweller’s cars will be parked on neighborhood side streets.  This is turning our two-way side streets into defacto one-ways because there are solid lines of cars on both sides of the street making it impossible for two cars to pass each other.  The city should have started regulating neighborhood parking 10 years ago, but they did not, and so things are going to get very bad before they get better.

This was a one-story building that sat unused for all of my time living here.  In the last year or two, it was pulled down. And now its a lot with a chain link fence. It’s right across the street from the Rosa Parks Max stop, so I’m assuming it will become a mixed-use complex soon, though there isn’t anything on Next Portland.

Here is another thing that affects street parking.  Putting a six-unit apartment building on a lot where one house was.  This takes a structure that most likely had off-street parking and turns it into one that will probably bring 5+ cars parked in the street.  I know that the idea is that we are so great at transit that one doesn’t need to own a car, but the reality is that we are pretty good at transit and most people do own cars.  When my company conducted focus groups of one part of the city where the no-car thing is supposed to be easy, all but one of the 21 people had cars. Some had more than one car per household  Yet all were living in an area that is being built up without parking because supposedly no one needs cars.  I’d like to see a better system, one that doesn’t assume free street parking for people who do have a car and don’t have on-property parking. (And that includes my own household, one with no off-street parking, two people and one car.)

I would guess this guy is a scrap metal dealer as his truck and trailer are always loaded with metal things.  Incidentally, he lives in a four-unit, one story apartment complex, the type that are being torn down to build 24+ unit places that he probably could not afford to rent.  Here’s hoping that his complex doesn’t get sold to developers.

This used to be the site of the bowling alley.  It will now be mixed-use apartments.  Early on, a sign posted showed a swimming pool was included, but I’m not certain that will be part of the final product.

A very specific photo taken for a person who doesn’t actually read this blog, this is the front office of Edge, our old gym. It’s now an auto repair place. I was surprised to see how hip it looks.  Also, I’m pretty sure that’s the same couch that was there when Edge was there.  Either they bought the exact same kind and color (it’s Ikea, so that’s a possiblity) or Edge left it.

This was a home with a storefront facing Interstate, and a Taco Time.  It is now a pit. It will soon be more mixed-used apartment buildings.  I’m sad that I didn’t take a picture of either of the previous buildings, because the house/storefront was fairly unique to Interstate, and the Taco Time was in good shape. It was a leftover landmark from the time before Taco Bell became ubiquitous, a.k.a. my childhood.

This was, once upon a time, a single story building that had a convenience store–or maybe a cigarette shop?–in it.

I can no longer remember what used to be here.  Maybe a house.  These are not-so-new (but not older than five years) and are, according to the flyer, not apartments you can rent, but a LIFESTYLE.  Cue the eyeroll.
Zillow estimates they are $1075 to $1565, which gets you no parking and no washer/dryer, or a laundry room.  The website recommends using transit, but the person writing the copy clearly isn’t interested in taking transit, as they mention the #72 and the #4.  The #72 is close by. The #4 is far, and shares a stop with the #75. They entirely skip over the #44, which is between the #72 and the #4.

Also from the website: Our controlled access building offers a sleek, well-lit focal bike storage area. Your bike will be art, not just transportation on two wheels!

This has been here the longest of the buildings on this post.  It used to be the site of the Camelot Motel.  It is income-restricted (I think) and the mixed-use part of the building house the offices of Proud Ground, which is the organization that made it possible to buy our home.

This style of infill apartments drives me crazy.  I would love if they could design something more complicated than: box.

Here’s an update on the spot I featured in February 2017. My new favorite site Next Portland tells me this will be a 4-story, 30 unit apartment, with no parking. The kicker?  The two adjacent lots are also being developed into a “new 3-story multifamily apartment building with 19 one-bedroom dwelling units” and also quite possibly a “new 3-story 6-unit development”  That side street went from one 8-unit apartment and one home, to 49 for-sure units with a possibility of 55.  That’s a lot of people and their needs to add to 1.5 blocks.  Again, I’m for density, but what I don’t see, is the city addressing the parking issue.  While this is built right on the Yellow Line Max, that does not mean that 50+ units will be rented to people without cars.

Looking down the block on Dekum.

From that same site.  This is the kind of thing a certain type of people will look at and mutter about government over-regulation. I found it delightfully inventive.

And there’s yet more construction on Interstate!  This is going to be 51 units of affordable housing.  Finally, we get to the affordable housing!  Now known as Charlotte Rutherford Place, this will have, “51 new units of affordable housing …serving low-income households earning up to 60% of the median family income, with a portion of units reserved for those experiencing or at risk of homelessness. On-site resident services will include culturally specific recovery and employment support through partnerships with Miracles Club, NARA, and the Imani Program.”

There will be on-site surface parking, but I’m guessing that means about 10 spaces, not enough for all units, or even half of them.  Again, the city needs to get out in front of the parking thing.  When I lived in Boston, all the neighborhoods had permit parking.  At any rate, it’s nice to see a small iota of affordable housing, among all the other developments.

Upholstery Block

Riding my  bike to work, I noticed this sign.  When I’m biking, I don’t like to stop, so I resolved to come back at a later date with my camera.  A random Friday off from work and a delay in demolition gave me my opportunity.

We’re looking at the block between N Webster and N. Alberta on Interstate.  My new favorite website Next Portland, tells me this block will turn into the Aniva Apartments.  There is a picture of what it will look like. It will have 90 units and tuck-under parking according to the building permit.

Here’s what’s here now, from Alberta Street:

And here’s the other end of the block, from Webster street:

This upholstery shop was here when I moved to Kenton in 2007.  It was one of two on Interstate.  Both have closed now, but there is now one on Lombard, and one in Kenton, so our net loss of upholstery shops is zero.

I took a picture of the backyard.  Soon, that house on the right won’t have much light on that side.  They will also get to enjoy a bunch of people being able to look right into their backyard.

This is the only house that will come down.  It occurs to me I should take a walk down Interstate and capture all the current houses. When I once told someone I lived on Interstate, she said, “I didn’t know there were any houses on Interstate.” I responded that there were a lot, but perhaps in 50 years there won’t be any.  Best to make a mark of them now, just like we did for the motels of Interstate.

The parking lot for the building on the corner of Alberta and Interstate.  Someone was living in the back corner of it, before they put up the fence.

This building will also go, which suprised me, as someone recently put some money into renovating it (newly paved parking lot, new paint job, general upgrades.) There was a coffee shop there for a bit, but it closed, probably for lack of customers. Ironically, once the new building goes up, I would put good money on it having a coffee shop.

There will also be a new building happening across the street. Proud Ground, the people who own the land my house sits on, will be developing the block across the street.  It hasn’t made it through review yet, so isn’t on the Next Portland Map, but the Portland Observer reports that 41 of the 50 units would be Proud Ground condominiums. It would also give priority to residents displaced by the gentrification of North/Northeast Portland.

Here’s what the block looks like now, from the Webster side:

From the Alberta side:

The cleaners and the shop with the yellow awning were in operation until recently.

Lots like this–with surface parking in front and the stores set back from the street–are in short supply on Interstate. It’s hard to see, but there is housing on this block already.  The building that houses the convenience store is hooked to another building running parallel to Interstate. It has apartments on the upper levels. It took me nearly a decade to notice them.

J’s Market is still open, though I’m guessing it won’t be for long.

No one has come to remove this phone booth, so I guess it will eventually be the job of the people who level the lot.


New Building coming on NW 5th & NW Glisan

I spent some time staring at the photo accompanying this pubic hearing notice.  It didn’t seem to fit with the neighborhood.  After a time, I realized that it was an old notice–they had glued the new notice on top of it, and the rain had loosened the current notice which had slid and stuck.

So here’s what’s coming. And I found a great site: Next Portland: Architecture and Development in PDX.  Here’s what they have to say about this project. (Includes multiple renderings of the site with the new building.)

Here’s the site itself.  The green wall is a 1954-era building that would be removed. There is no mention of the removal of the Three Points Oil building, but that would disappear too.

Overall, it seems like a good use for this corner.  All other surrounding buildings would be preserved. Chinatown could use more residential units, so I’m calling this a win.

It will affect my walking route over the Steel Bridge during construction, though.  That will be annoying.

Get the dirt out

Here we are looking at the corner of Davis and 10th. This is the block I’ve been watching change. Currently, there are two dump trucks on the block itself and three waiting.  Excavation is always the first part of the high-rise project.
And here we see the actual excavation. This reminds me both of Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, and Fuel by Ani DiFranco, that stalwart of my late 90s/early 2000s experience.

Broadway Building Rehab and Broken Branch

I’ve featured this building before on this blog.  It’s getting an update.  The Passport Photo place on the corner has moved into the middle space while they renovate.

It’s a to-the-sidewalk renovation, and I’m interested in how they have built a temporary new interior while they work on the exterior.

And also how the corner entrance looks like it will be maintained, along with its light.

Around the corner in the North Park Blocks, a branch is down.

A big branch!

The outline of the old

Now I’m curious if those windows are closed over on the inside of the remaining building.  My guess is yes.  I’m pretty sure this means the remaining building (Deschutes Brewery) was built first.  Or perhaps an incredible optimist added windows to the wall, hoping that someday that other building would disappear.  It’s your moment in the sun, incredible optimist.  You are proved right!

More clearing of Everett & 10th

Here’s a view from the corner of NW 10th & Everett.  The building I watched being torn down has been exposed as having a separate room walled off in its corner.  Also, we’re seeing sides of buildings that haven’t seen the light in many years.

Urbanite.  This pile makes me think there might have been some amount of recycling happening.

What was in this corner?  Refrigerator?  Well-insulated bathroom?  I won’t ever know.

The beautiful sorrow of a building being pulled down

I’ve established throughout this blog that I feel sorrow when buildings and houses disappear.  The preservationist in me wants to rehab everything and make it work for today.  I know why buildings have to come down (in this case, unreinforced one- and two-story masonry  buildings sitting in a part of town where people want to live in towers) and even so, I think we lose something each time we lose a building.

And yet.  When I came across the tearing down happening it was an incredible site. Awesome in the traditional sense of the word.  I stood and watched for a long time.

It’s a big, solid building.  With a sledge hammer, I could maybe do some damage, but not a lot.  Yet with this machine, one person can pull it right down as if it were nothing.  The power is incredible to behold.

Then there is the anthropomorphic design.  Those jaws look like maybe a dinosaur rose from extinction, put on a metal shell, and went to work chomping up buildings.

I wasn’t the only onlooker. These guys were settled in, watching the progress.

I think we need to do more deconstruting than demo.  But seeing three panes of windows being shattered and pulled to the ground was amazing.  I kept thinking how many more people it used to take to pull things apart. This is being done by one guy to rip down, and one to shoot water into the debris.

You can see all around this site what people want in the Pearl.  Big buildings.  And there will be one here soon.  But what if we were the type of people to carefully pull this apart, and send it off for reuse?

We’d miss the dramatic site, but maybe we would be a better people for it?  (Notice in the left corner, another building going up.)

And I wonder, if pulling apart a building employed more than two guys and a machine, if workers would be better off?

Here’s the bearing company recently featured.  It’s at the other end of the block where the building is coming down.  Soon that sight line will change.