Walk up Vancouver Ave.

My Wednesday swim has been usurped by freezing cold shower water.  The swimming water is a good temperature, but the shower before and after is more “alpine lake” than I would want.  So I’m putting off swimming until warmer weather arrives.  In the meantime, I’m taking long walks before my Wednesday volunteer stint.  Here’s my walk up (a.k.a. north on) Vancouver Ave.

Before we even get to Vancouver, here is a building on Russell St.

I love it because it has bits from all different decades.

Possibly original doors, but the plywood covering are much more recent.  Then there’s the wood that trims the bottom.  Most likely not original.

Looking above the front door, we’ve got wavy sheet metal, original ceiling and a busted out light. I also really love the way peeling paint looks.

Original roof detail, asphalt shingles and more plywood.

Really great side detail with original siding peeking through asphalt shingles.

Also, this building is much larger than it looks from the street.  And it’s not abandoned.  On the other side is a garage door (which completely doesn’t fit) so I think this building is used for storage.

The Vancouver/Williams Corridor has exploded in the last few years.  When I first moved here there were many empty lots and even empty blocks thanks to really bad urban development in the mid-20th Century.  Supposedly Legacy Emmanuel Hospital was going to hugely expand, so they moved out the largely black business owners and tenants, razed the buildings and then didn’t do anything.  Things are being done now, decades later.  But it’s not the hospital that is doing things.

Vancouver Ave is the street that runs one way south (towards downtown).  Williams is the street that runs one way north.  I used to get them confused until someone told me that she always found it odd that Vancouver’s traffic pattern took cars in the direction away from the city of Vancouver.

I was happy to see this bank of houses somehow managed to escape the devastation.  Perhaps because they front the lovely Dawson Park.

Just one block north of those houses this is what it looks like.  And that is the Vancouver today.  Houses that still survive, empty lots that are being gobbled up and the building of high rises like crazy.

It wasn’t until I was walking by that I noticed this billboard is the shortest billboard I’ve ever seen.

A good set of compare/contrast houses.

I’m slightly worried for this pretty building because its on an otherwise empty lot and is surrounded by fencing.

Closeup of the mural.

On Killingsworth, I love this huge edifice.

It’s got extend-a-porch.

2 thoughts on “Walk up Vancouver Ave.”

  1. Oh, the houses in this post. Be still my heart. I love the old architecture of Portland. And that mural is fab. Also, I really like that pic of the busted out light. There’s something strangely poetic about it.

  2. That gorgeous row of Painted Ladies is lovely. I am hopeful that the mural house will remain. What kind of protections exist for such places? It seems like PDX would be more focused on saving houses and restoration projects. Yet, your blog seems to suggest otherwise. Damn that neoliberal capitalistic focus of our world.

    And yes, that last sentence is brought to you by my PhD studies!

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