Goodbye to 2205 N. Winchell Street

This one hurts. Even more than usual.

From this angle, you can’t see much, except the above sign. But we will get closer.

I love a good midcentury house. But I have a particular weakness for midcentury houses that use cinderblocks for their construction. Something about the modern living aesthetic combined with the utilitarian nature of the cinderblock really gets me. There aren’t a ton of these houses, which is why I’ve always liked this one.

Look at those long prairie-style lines! Look at how the garage is almost as big as the house part!

And oh my goodness that chimney. Plus the window and the built-in planter box.

And even, yes! Deco glass blocks?

The house sits on the corner and takes up half of the block, so it had a pretty big backyard too.

Also, there was this bit of interest.

Here are some stats from Portland Maps.

  • Built in 1948
  • 1,140 square feet with one full bath
  • Sold on 6/16/21 for $453,000

I can’t find previous sale data anymore. Very sad to not have that information.

I will miss seeing this midcentury marvel in my rambles around the neighborhood.

How Much Does This House Cost?

Let’s play a fun game. How much is a house down the street from my house for sale for? It’s 700 square feet and its eastern neighbor is the wall the separates I-5 from the neighborhood.

It’s got some bright orange counters in the kitchen.

Are you ready to guess? Place your bets now. Once you scroll past this picture, you will find the answer.

Did you guess $300,000? If so, you are a winner! As will be the person who buys this house. I haven’t seen a $300,000 house in this neighborhood for a long time.

From the future, I can tell you that this sold for $302,000 on 7/8/21 to someone who lives in Honolulu.

PortlandMaps doesn’t say the last time it was sold, so we can’t have any appreciation fun.

Habitat for Humanity Building Update

The ground floor unit is finished and they have helpfully left the lights on at night, so I can capture the layout.

The front part of the house is a great room.

Next to that is a porch and a laundry room.

Here’s a bedroom with a closet.

And here’s the second bedroom.

There must be a bathroom in play somewhere, but it’s not on this side of the building.

I wonder if the bathroom is on the other side of the hallway?

I think this is the porch to the unit on the back half of the building?

Clearly, I’m lacking a guided tour, but I’m glad to have at least this view.

A Few More Houses on the Chopping Block in Arbor Lodge

Since I moved to the Kenton neighborhood, I’ve always liked the swath of houses between I-5, Interstate, Lombard, and Rosa Parks Way. Like my little section of Kenton, this stretch of blocks used to be mostly cute bungalow-style housing with good amounts of yard.

In the past five years it’s become cute bungalow-style housing interspersed with large multi-unit spaces, only one of which has parking. This area is a good spot for multi-unit construction as it’s right on the Yellow Line and a very walkable neighborhood. But without neighborhood regulation of parking, it’s not the most ideal. And I miss the little houses when they go.

This house is holding fast. It’s on a corner, so it won’t be hemmed in on all sides by multi-unit housing. It will stay for now, but that fence indicates that the lot next door is changing.

Its neighbor is not long for this world. This is a 1926 861-square foot house with a 600-foot unfinished basement that last sold in 1997 for $88,500. It sold in March, 2020, for $540,000.

This was part of the lot. It had a big, shady yard due to those trees.

Next door to the little house above was an empty lot. I’m not sure, but I think it might have been the garage for this little house, which is also for sale. You’ll note that the empty lot has become a multi-unit structure. The yellow house was built in 1926 and it looks like the owner recently died. If Zillow is to be believed, the house has sold for $372,500. This has a chance of not being torn down, but I’m not holding my breath.

Next to that little house, is one that I’ve got my eye on. This one is owner occupied, but I’d guess the owners are getting up there in years. This house has a garage on its lot that looks to be bigger than the house.

Here is another one of my favorites, a few blocks down. It’s a 1941 Ranch house (so compact and cute.) It was last sold in 1987 for $38,000. Zillow tells me it’s off market. I thought I had seen that it sold, but who knows. I love the siding. I’m guessing this lot will be subdivided and the house torn down.

One street over, is this little gem, slated to become a multi-unit corner of the block like you can see in the right side of the photo. It was built in 1925, is 932 square feet, and has at 440 square foot unfinished basement. The previous owners bought it in 2009 for $234,000 and it sold in June of 2018 for $650,000. Next Portland reported in 2019: Construct 3 story (18) unit apartment building with associated site work, but that might be those ones across the street. Read on to hear about that project.

Across the street from the 1925 house were two houses that will become the Norway I and II. That will be two three-story buildings with five units on each floor. That’s 30 units total. But not in one building. In two buildings. Why? Perhaps it has something to do with a new law that requires all buildings with 20 or more units to provide low-income housing.

This is Becoming Increasingly Rare

This street, at least on its south side, doesn’t have cars parked on the street.

I think this has to do with every house having a driveway, and every house being a single-family dwelling. Once multi-family dwellings appear, street parking picks up, since builders aren’t required to include parking.

This is a pretty wide street, but a lot of Portland side streets (this is especially true in a lot of southeast neighborhoods) feel unsafe to drive on when cars are parked bumper to bumper on both sides. It’s not unusual for a car driving down the street to pull over to let an oncoming car pass them.

I’d like to see the Portland City Council get on top of this, but they aren’t likely to. Fixing things would be a pain, and the fact that we have city-wide representation, rather than districts means that people can’t really band together in an area with unsafe parking situation and demand their representative do stuff about it.

Someday we’re going to revamp our city’s governing system. And then we can actually start being the city that works.

The Burning of Downtown Kenton

Some of the protesters at the Police Union building took a turn down Denver and did some burning and property destruction in the Kenton Downtown area. I went for a walk the next morning to take in the destruction.

I support protestors call for racial justice. I’m not a fan of property destruction. I think the anarchists are doing a great job painting all protestors as destructive which isn’t the case. But being anarchists, they are quite happy to destroy a movement for their own pleasure.

I was out in the seven o’clock hour and things had already been tidied.

This part of Denver Ave. has been cut off from car traffic so the businesses (many of which are restaurants) can have more room to sell things. This is a program that has been happening in commercial areas around Portland this summer. You can see how they make the stencils for the sidewalk chalk shapes that indicate walkways and then use the stencils to partition areas into rooms. I find this to be a very clever use of materials.

I think this might have been the part of town where the dumpster was set on fire. You can see some charred wood.

Here is a bit of stencil that wasn’t wholly consumed by flame.

This is another one was burned a little. You can see it in the lower-left corner.

Here’s a bit more melting.

I think Bart’s Barber Shop had already had their window smashed in. It wouldn’t have been boarded up so quickly. I think the graffiti is new. You can also see some other graffiti on the window over the logo and some old graffiti on the Kenton Lodge cornerstone.

I wanted to take these pictures because when people hear “riot” and “fire” and “property destruction” I think a lot of them picture rubble and complete decimation. As you can see here, there is property damage that will cost money and that sucks. But it’s not complete destruction that businesses need to rise, Phoenix-like out of the ashes.

Peaceful racial justice protestors deserve our support.

The Police Union Building

Among the things I’ve learned in 2020? That the nondescript building not far from my house is the headquarters of the Portland Police Union. How do I know this? Because it’s become a regular site for nightly protests in my neighborhood.

Though I’m close enough to walk to this corner in ten-ish minutes, I don’t ever hear the protests, or smell the tear gas. But sometimes on my morning walks I see the remnants of the previous night’s protest.

I think the fastest way for the police to end the protests is to stop acting aggressively when faced with people protesting that the police are too aggressive.

Another thing I learned in 2020? A lot of times (especially this summer) when police declare a protest a riot it means they want everyone to go home.

One of My Favorites on the Block

It’s the development notice sign. Which means it’s time to get out the camera and take a picture of something that soon will cease to be.

When I first moved to Portland, someone pointed out how Portland had so many little apartment complexes, ones like this that are single story and have both parking and greenery. I always thought I would live in one someday. But I’d better act fast, because they are being replaced by taller structures with no parking and little greenery.

This complex has been one of my favorites. I’ve featured it before. In the picture above, you can see (if you squint) where several paint colors were sampled. Those paint samples have been there for years.

I’m worried for this tenant. She always has a ton of potted flowers. I’m guessing she will have to relocate when they start building the new place and I hope her next place has opportunities to grow things.

The plus of the coming demolition is that this new complex will be affordable housing located very near a Max station and a Fred Meyer. But I will miss this little spot. And I don’t look forward to a year of walking in the bike lane after they fence off the sidewalk.