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!

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.

A back-in-the-day building in the Pearl

Do you see the name on the building?  That’s not an ironically titled restaurant.  That’s an actual Bearing Service Company, left over from the time where the Pearl District was filled with blue-collar businesses and warehouses instead of wandering yuppies and tourists.  They’ve recently painted this building, so it looks like they plan to stick around.

Look at that Art Deco glass, and the super cool rounded platform entrance, topped by a neon sign.  Niiiiiiice!

From peeking through the windows, I know that there’s a tiny customer service space, and then the rest of the building is taken up with shelves of parts.  When it’s hot, the large fan they set in the doorway has tipped me off to the fact that they don’t have air conditioning.

Goodbye to Ankeny Street Studios

I’ve been square dancing with the Rosetown Ramblers at the Ankeny Street Studio since June.  There is much to love about this studio, beginning with the fact that it is located in this nondescript building.

There are a variety of instructors who use the space, including ballroom dance instructors and folk dancers.

The  room we use is the Grand Ballroom and it’s huge.  It has mirrors and a beautiful floor.  Also a disco ball.

Along the side are tables and chairs.  The decorations on the tables change with the seasons.  One of my favorite details is the carpet-covered bumpers along the wall, which keep chairs from hitting the wall.Sadly, this space will be eliminated.  The original owner of the building was a woman who was invested in the ballroom dance community.  The building has been sold and the new owners are not interested in supporting the dance community.  The Rosetown Ramblers will be dancing in Milwaukie in the future.  And Portland will lose this unique space.

Interesting things to note about two buildings

This is the Pendleton Woolen Mills Corporate Headquarters.  I was interested in the sign over the office door.  “No Alcohol Beyond this Point”  Is there drinking only in this office?

Look at this little house, which has managed to survive all sorts of transformations around it.  It’s currently the Julia West House.