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.

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.

Out and About in North Portland

This is my first time walking on this sidewalk. Prior to this building being built, I had no reason to walk on this side of the street as it was fenced off, and maybe it didn’t have a sidewalk? But now the corner of N. Interstate and N. Argyle Street has a huge affordable housing complex, which I’m quite happy to see. And the sidewalk is great for walking on.

This house has been one of my favorites. It’s just down the street, anchoring N. Watts, right before the street loops and turns into N. Minnesota for one short block. When I first moved to the neighborhood, I’d guess that the house was owned by an older couple. They did a great job keeping it tidy, and they planted a garden in the empty adjacent lot every spring.

The house has been sold and the new owners aren’t as fastidious. [Checks Portland Maps] As I suspected, it’s owned by the Gates Family Trust, and the address is out of state. So it’s a rental. They’ve also sectioned off the lot next door, which sold for $74,900 in 2015. The owners of the lot aren’t fastidious at all, nor do they plant a vegetable garden. Instead, they seem to apply pesticides to kill the weeds now and then.

The sale of this section of land had me crossing the little green house off my list of next places to potentially live. I wouldn’t want to move in and then immediately have all my light blocked by new construction.

Scenes From My July 1 Walk

If memory serves, I was headed to Walgreens to return a Redbox DVD.

I like the look of this house, though the appearance of a backhoe has me worried that soon this house will not be. Hopefully they are doing some renovation.

This is a fun message.

Here’s a two-part window display. The girl blows hearts that form a rainbow.

To a boy on the other side of the door.

I love a good random art find.

Portland City Walks Irvington and Sullivan’s Gulch Loop

Time for a fun date! Once again Laura O. Foster provides a great walk for us..

It’s a house that John Povey, of Povey Brothers Glass Company fame lived in! Such a charming fa├žade!

The book said Povey’s name could still be seen in the front steps. It took a bit of squinting, but Matt eventually found it and pointed it out to me. Can you see it? Look at the top step.

Portland has hosted its share of protests focused on racial injustice, police brutality and the killing of George Floyd and others. The Irvington Neighborhood was awash in signs included this Burma-Shave-type message:

Last sign says: Our Minds

We spotted this fella in some side yard bamboo.

Aside from signs, Irvington is awash in Little Free Libraries. I found a big win in this one. Look at all these postcards!

And everyone can use a neighborhood cat review.

Or two.

Cambia Todo Cambia translates as Everything Changes (or maybe Changes, Everything Changes?) You can see a delightful performance here and read the translated lyrics here.

I can tell that the Crystal Garden Apartments were built when Apartments were faaaaaaancy. Guess how!

It’s that plaque telling “tradesmen” to go around to the side.

I found a great site that has a list of apartment houses, including the Crystal Garden Apartments. The same site also has two images of my beloved Rose-Friend Apartment, now torn down, but forever in my heart as my first Portland home. Actually, I’ve now just spent 15 minutes clicking around the site which includes an interactive map with current and destroyed Apartment Houses. There were apparently three other apartment houses in the next block over from my beloved Rose-Friends Apartments. This is a fabulous site and you should check it out. The Apartment House in Portland.

I wonder if the cat at 1538 and the dog at 1530 are aware of each other’s presence.

This gorgeous house has unique window covers on the second story.

Names of Black people killed by police.

I also thought these signs were beautiful despite the sadness that comes with them having to be made in the first place.

This was a great walk! Thanks Portland City Walks!

Signs of Support on Watts Street

This section of Watts Street has been featured before on this blog. It’s the street of cascading house renovations. I’m not sure if the residents of this street coordinated their sign creation efforts, or if they fed off of each other. But either way, most houses on this streets have put up signs of support for essential workers. Let’s take a tour!

I’ve always liked this house, both the shape and the color. I like how the “thank you” has a slant like their roofline does.

I like this sign with printed coloring sheets. The house is cute too. They always have nice lights up in December.

I appreciate how many groups are included in this sign.

This also has a similar amount of people, and I like the “no COVID 19” symbol. Plus the general “all those helping”

This is a great use of markers and polka dots.

There were more, but my camera battery died. Alas.

Another house in Kenton is headed for the wrecking ball

This little blue house has always been one of my favorites on this street. But it will soon not be a house any longer.

The house at 1350 N. Watts was built in 1925, has 730 square feet, plus an unfinished basement and a 500 square foot detached garage.

The assessor detail on PortlandMaps tells me that it sold in April for $330,000. It’s prior sale was in 2003 and was for $142,000. (O! If only I could have bought when I first got to Portland!) It sold for $79,900 in 1997 and $26,000 in 1994.

Goodbye little blue house, with the unfortunately pruned apple tree in the front yard. I will miss you.

Fence creeping closer

We turn to the housing development down the street to see how it progresses. We illustrate the progress with blurry pictures (sorry).

This house used to have a full driveway. It now has a skinny sidewalk. As I am concerned about how this development will affect parking in front of my house (which does not have a driveway because I am also part of the problem) this isn’t great news. I assume the house is staying (but perhaps not?) and eventually those two units will be occupied again and will need parking, just like all the new units will.

And when I say “units will be occupied” I mean by rent-paying people. The squatters who have been living in it don’t come with cars. You can see where the trash has been emptied from the house. Again.

A view from the opposite corner. I can’t remember how high this development will go, but it is probable that eventually the house will not be visible.