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.

Portland inundated with electric scooters

The electric scooter companies have rolled out their product. And they are everywhere.  They are all over downtown and I took this picture at 102nd Avenue. My friend told me she’s seen them as far as 168th street.

To ride the scooters, you download an app, and then pay $1.00 to unlock one, and fifteen cents per minute to ride. Electric scooters are supposed to be ridden on streets, not sidewalks and every rider is supposed to wear a helmet.

So far the riders I’ve seen have been good about staying off sidewalks (though while biking, I did encounter one riding the wrong way in the bike line) and very few of them wear helmets.

I’m curious how much a scooter costs the company to purchase. I’m guessing that they are cheap enough that they pay for themselves after a few rides. Or perhaps people are throwing gobs of money at this new venture. I look forward to seeing how these items integrate with our transportation system, though I don’t see myself using this option on a regular basis.

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?

Highlights from the Avenue of the Roses Parade

Friends Mark & Amanda live at the end of the Avenue of Roses Parade route and host a party. I love a good parade, especially a good small parade, so I went. Here are some highlights.

While 82nd Avenue does have problems with prostitution and I certainly support this group’s efforts, I kept imagining the questions posed along the parade route, “Mommy, why don’t real men buy sex?”

Who doesn’t love a good scary dragon?

I was intrigued by these characters, and unfortunately, missed capturing the group’s name.

Gotta love returned Peace Corps volunteers.

I also loved this cool holder for the saint carried by this Catholic church. It allowed for smooth carrying and left room for waving.

These puffy air-filled dinosaurs were delightful. I’d never seen puffy characters before.

Some cool parade goers make some noise and wave the flag.

It became apparent that the classic cars were turning right off of 82nd, and we were to the left, so we missed them, but we did get to see a lot of the parade. Thanks to Mark & Amanda for hosting.

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.