Nearly Able to Walk on the Sidewalk at NW 10th & Davis

It’s been a very long haul, as I posted about this corner back before the building was torn down, but the sidewalk is very nearly open! It looks like they were doing the demo in June of 2017, which means it has been nearly three years since this street and sidewalk have been navigable for anything other than construction workers.

Reporting from seven months in the future, I can say that I’ve still not walked on that sidewalk. A few days after I took this picture, we were told to work from home and two days after that we were told our positions would be eliminated as of March 31.

Having no office to go to any longer, this corner is not on my daily route. I’m pretty sure the sidewalk is open now, but who knows?

Westwind Apartment Building

Grabbing these pictures now, because the Westwind Apartments are going down.

I love the blue accents against the stucco, dingy though they both may be.

I think lighter color buildings work well in Portland, and I find them especially cheering in the winter.

There must be a photo of the original entrence, which was probably much grander than the current incarnation.

What will be put on the site of the Westwind? Here’s what my favorite site Next Portland says:

Construction of a new, 7-story, mixed-use building on a quarter block site. Project includes 100 deeply affordable units of permanently supporting housing, including 72 transient housing units (SROs) with PHB funding, and 28 studio apartments. It will also contain ground and second floor CCC Office space and community functions. There will be a small retail space at the northwest corner. 

Next Portland

So that’s, exciting, that the building torn down will house the same population it has been serving. This is funded by the housing bond we passed in 2016.

When I was looking for the name of the building, I found reviews on Google Maps. I thought I would drop them in here for posterity. The average rating for the Westwind Apartments is two stars. There are three reviews.

Spent 5 plus years at the Westwind. Interesting place, not for the faint of heart. A wide cross section of the down and out along former & soon to be street people again. Medical emergencies and police & parole officers frequently visit. Close to train, bus, local bus, metro light rail, with easy access to the metropolitan Portland area and the Ptl. Airport. Willamette River a few blocks away with its river side parks and walks along both sides of the river. Free food and services for those in need abound if one looks and asks question of the local residents. Many medical services nearby plus the VA Hospital and its services. China town nearby, much reduced from its former glory. Multiple temporary shelters in the area along with services such as food, shelter, training, referrals,. Downtown Portland core six or so blocks to the north, bus, light rail handy. Basic room, bed, sink, refrig, chair & desk plus overhead light. Common bathrooms. No elevator, three levels access via stairs. Parking on street, limited, very limited. Local parking lots with rentals spaces abound but a bit of walking necessary; Bring your own fan or air conditioner, radiator heating in the winter. Bring your own cell phone or use the lobby payphone. Local residents have cats and dogs, BUT! ask Management for permission !!! Rating ???. Well it was interesting, Be ready to wait for an open bathroom. Raymond J. Metzger, aka Doc. former apt #37

Raymond Metzger, posted c. 2013, three stars.

this place is overrun by cockroaches bedbugs Bratz junkies slumlords but slapstick maintenance workers highly overpriced and 555 months small room trashed dirty self centered on site management smack also shares the same corner as the worst gang bug hoodrat hugens so there crack on in the middle of Chinatown

jeremy Wolverton, posted c. 2016, one star.

It’s better than being on the streets, old building, bad location, has a life of its own.

Cecil, posted c. 2018, three stars.

Alder Food Carts Space Big Hole

As last reported in June, 2019, the Alder Food Carts have been scattered to the winds. The luxury hotel is digging down before it builds up.

We are able to see what’s happening, thanks to this mesh barrier.

And what we can see is there is a big hole being dug. This is where the parking for the luxury hotel and condominium will be.

The street looks very different with the food carts gone. On the other side of 10th Street, where there were a few more food carts, there is another tall building being constructed. We’ve gone from not-quite-one-story structures, to very tall structures on both sides of the street.

Post Office Site Broadway Corridor

As mentioned before, the main USPS processing facility in Portland has moved from downtown Portland to a location by the airport. That leaves the massive space to be redeveloped. My walk over the Broadway Bridge gave me the opportunity to grab some photos before everything is dissasembled.

Here’s the official notice.

Here’s a view of the back half of the 14-acre site. This part is hemmed in by two approaches to the Broadway Bridge. I’m standing on Broadway Street and you can see NW Lovejoy on the left side of the picture.

This part of the site is mostly open, as it was where semi trucks pulled in and out. The back part of the picture shows many building built in the Pearl District over the past twenty years. Before that happened, the post office fit right in. The space was filled with warehouses, rail yards, and the like.

And here’s the view of the back half of the massive building. While the post linked to above showed the public facing part of the building, most of the space was filled with mail sorting machines.

I got to tour that space once, while being a chaparone for a class studying mail. It was so fun to see all the machines.

Fire at the Oregon Motel

I was awake and reading in bed when I heard a hubbub at the Oregon Motel. Such hubbubs aren’t unusual for that property, so I didn’t investigate. But then I smelled something. Looking out my window told me what was burning.

I woke up Matt and had him make sure the fire trucks were coming while I grabbed the cats’ carriers.

Then we watched from my bedroom window as the firefighters arrived and went to work.

Using their powerful flashlights and a chainsaw, they cut a few holes in the roof.

It was interesting to see how they used the ladder to move around on the roof. They also popped all the covers off the vents.

After that it was time to pack up and drive away.

It was early, but not so early the MAX wasn’t running.

Everyone made it safely out of their motel rooms. Two units caught fire, but the fire did not spread past those units.

I feel lucky that this was as close as we came to fire and I’m glad that no one was harmed.

The End of Portland Meadows

Portland’s race track will be dismantled and turned into an Amazon warehouse. While I’m not in favor of horse racing, some part of me feels sad to see this landmark fall.

This was once the parking lot and has now been leveled.

From the street, you can peek through the fence and see the grandstand.

I liked this horseshoe that had come to rest on the Jersey barrier.

The End of Byways Cafe. Another Portland Classic Shuttered

Byways has been a classic cafe for the entire time I’ve lived in Portland. It provides solid, delicious food and a fun, kitschy setting.

The owners made the decision to close because they were unable to negotiate a new lease with their landlords. I’m guessing from this for-sale sign, the building owners would rather market a mostly empty building to potential buyers. It’s easier to tear down and put up something bigger.

There were a lot of feelings about this loss in the local newspapers (the daily and weeklies) and on social media.

I will miss this Portland institution.

Crane Coming Down

Would you like to make dozens of people look up? Even while walking? If so, install, and then disassemble, a crane. Not only was I looking up while walking past this, so was everyone else I encountered.

Also, look at this! The wheels aren’t even on the ground! They are being held up by these hydraulic lifts that extend from the crane dissembler thing.

Also. This isn’t a fast process. When I walked by at before eight a.m. they had started and when I left at 4:30 they were still going.

Note from the future. When the quarantine happened in March, the street had still not been reopened. It was close, but hadn’t happened yet.