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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
The commercial building that was most recently a garage has been removed, as has the single family house that used to sit next to it. Next up? A 24-unit Habitat for Humanity structure.
And affordable housing is being built on an empty lot at the edge of downtown Kenton.
I’m excited to have both of these developments happening near me.* If there’s one thing this city needs, it’s more affordable housing. As someone who is only a homeowner because of Proud Ground, a housing program for first-time home buyers, I know how much of a difference affordable and stable housing can make in a person’s life.
*Which is not to say I don’t have worries that our easy-to-find street parking will disappear once that 24-unit Habitat for Humanity development is done and occupied. I would LOVE if the City Council would take some steps to establish an on-street parking permit system in Portland neighborhoods.
After the deluge of yesterday afternoon, look what I woke up to:
There was also a “wintry mix” forecast, which I experienced when I took one more walk before checking out of my room. Wintry mix! In May!
I had a bit of time to kill before my flight so I took one last walk of Minnesota neighborhoods.
I found this sculpture when getting to the start of the walk. Note the black framing in pictures is due to my camera’s lens not retracting all the way. I bump it open when I notice, but there are times I don’t notice.
New building going up here.
A grand vista of the art museum.
And a picture of the newer wing.
There were so many good apartment buildings in Minneapolis! I love the arches on this one, and clearly so do the current owners, given the name.
Behind the art museum is a college.
Another of those houses that make me weak in the knees.
I love all three of the signs on this sign. What happened on the 1989 Arbor Day???
In Portland it sometimes it seems that every single block hosts a houseless person. But this was one of the only sign of homelessness I spied in the Twin Cities. I saw people who looked like they were down on their luck, but they didn’t look like they were also living in a tent on the sidewalk or an old RV.
Informational sign telling us of a huge lovely house that is no more.
Look at this little gem!
And across the street this great church!
Some beautiful stone.
And a sort of mini castle.
I loved seeing a few different stages of development here. The three on the left, probably all built around the same time. Then the two on the right, also probably built around the same time. Were they built before or after the freeway was put in? For the first set, definitely before, for the second set, maybe after?
From the looks of that dirt pile, there is a big freeway project happening.
Gorgeous little mansion down the street from my lodgings.
Statue and center that are directly across the street from that lovely little mansion.
Walk over, I packed up. I left the book of neighborhood walks at the house, but first I added notes pointing out the three walks within walking distance of the address.
And then I took the Green Line all the way to downtown St. Paul. On the way there I looked out the window on one side of the car.
On the way back, I looked out of the opposite window.
I learned that I have some St. Paul exploring to do. Its downtown has a great number of beautiful buildings. Also, I saw the MPR (Minnesota Public Radio) headquarters!
After that, it was back to the airport for a flight home.