Clearing of a North Park Block

The roof to 105 NW Park Avenue (once upon a time the home of The Emerson School) is gone, as are the windows. But the fa├žade is still there. I really hope they reused those old-growth timbers in the ceiling.

The mural is still there for now. But not for long.

On the other end of the block, the very tall unreinforced masonry building is completely gone. That was the one I figured would slump onto our building, burying us, if there was an earthquake.

We need not worry about building slump during an earthquake now.

E Burnside and SE 28th

I’ve long loved this bank of buildings on Burnside.

On the corner is a two-story with (currently) an ice cream shop at street level and apartments above. Next comes a one-story space for two businesses. Then the expansive Burnside Collision auto shop followed by the Kuhnhausen’s Furniture building. This location is right across the street from the Laurelhurst Theater, and I’ve kept my eye on these buildings for years.

I enjoy the subtle Mediterranean flair of the Philo House Thrift Shop building (it’s been closed for years, and the other side is also boarded up) The art deco of the auto repair, and the family business for the furniture shop.

While the corner business and the auto repair shop are going strong, the furniture store closed recently, and I wonder how much longer this bit of street will continue to looking this way.

Old Fashioned Mixed-Use

I’ve long enjoyed this corner at N. Lombard and N. Lancaster, but it’s not looking great, and that’s usually a sign of impending deconstruction, so I thought I’d better capture the image before it disappears.

PortlandMaps tells me this was built in 1956 and it has those nice midcentury lines I love. On the busy corner is a building that can be used as an office or store. You can see that it once upon a time was the Lombard Chiropractic Clinic.

Wrapping around the office building is a fourplex apartment building.

I like to imagine the original builder constructed one building, either the office or the apartments, and then used the proceeds from the rent to build the other. But it’s possible it was an investment property and all built at the same time.

The property doesn’t appear on Next Portland’s development map, so perhaps it has some life in it yet.

J.H. Clifton and Sons Since 1914

I took two days off of work, and on the first day I had a bunch of fun thing planned: a massage, exploring the shops on 42nd Street, a lunch out, and embroidery lesson. Plus biking to get to all those places. Alas, I did not take my real camera along, so I only have one picture from the day itself.

I admired this shop on 42nd, partially because the paint job looked so nice, and partially because it had been in business for more than 100 years.

It was only when walking back that I noticed the realtor’s sign. Apparently J.H. Clifton and Sons is no more.

Coming to Where I Used to Work: A Large Hotel

Walking by what used to be The Emerson School at the corner of SW Park and Couch, I saw that that building will soon be no more. It’s slated to be torn down.

Interestingly, this project doesn’t appear on the NextPortland Map. But I was able to find out about it on the city’s website.

Type III Design Review for a new, approximately 69-foot tall, six story hotel with 178 guest units. A large lobby/reception area and combined lounge/restaurant/bar area are found at the central portion of the ground floor facing NW Park Ave. A 1,700 square foot retail space at the ground floor anchors the corner of NW Park Ave and Couch St. A 1,400 square foot multi-purpose room will be located at the corner of NW Park Ave and Davis St. One Modification is requested to the Required Building Lines standard, and one Adjustment is requested to the number of loading spaces provided.

It looks from the plans like both the Emerson School building and the building on NW Park and Davis will be torn down. It’s not a surprise. When I worked for the school, we kept our fingers crossed that the very elderly owner wouldn’t die, because we figured his heirs would want to knock down both buildings to make way for something more lucrative. And both buildings are the types that won’t deal well with a massive earthquake. When I worked there, I had my earthquake plan all figured out. It involved hiding under my very sturdy 60s metal desk and hoping that the much taller building on the other side of the block collapsed away from my building.

There are huge old-growth timbers on supporting the ceiling of the second story of my old building. I hope they find a new home.

Swan Garden Has Finally Become Extinct

I’ve wondered for years how this restaurant kept going. It never seemed to have customers. At some point in my North Portland tenure, they added on a room for video poker, and that maybe kept them going? Someone at my gym implied that nefarious activity took place there, and that’s what kept it afloat.

But the Swan Garden is no longer occupied. It’s up for sale and will, I’m guessing, soon be replaced by a multi-unit. I wonder if it will include parking. There’s a parking lot behind.

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.

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.