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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 23, 2007 5:46 PM. The previous post in this blog was Your tax dollars at work. The next post in this blog is Meet me at the wrecking ball. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

More bliss in the Pearl

Ah, the good life.

Comments (9)

I've noticed them working on that building for more than a year now and wondered what was going on.

Greg C

Ha-ha, couldn't happen to a better bunch of people (term used loosely)! Whenever they do a conversion on an old building, 90% of the time they screw it up. LIke putting in new windows wrong almost all the time, which casuse major moisture invasion.

The guys who just razed the building and put up faux warehouses actually had the right idea. This town has some weird tastes and pays for it.

The guys who just razed the building and put up faux warehouses actually had the right idea.

Like most on this blog, I don't like the tax abatements and streetcar subsidies, I'm no fan of Homer, and I wouldn't pay even half the rate per square foot that they are trying to charge for these overpriced, undersized urban lofts.

But I beg to differ on this last statement. The Pearl used to be a warehouse district, and the architecture of many of the buildings was significant - in a gritty, working-class neighborhood sort of way. Developers who raze a building and attempt to replace it with a faux warehouse nine times out of ten end up putting up some jive, plastic-looking piece of crap that respects neither the building it replaces, nor the surrounding historically significant structures.

We should preserve the exterior structure of significant buildings, but proper renovation requires the use designers and engineers that have the skills to do the job properly, and to employ proper materials. Europe in general is much better at this, probably driven by much more stringent historic preservation laws.

"We should preserve the exterior structure of significant buildings, but proper renovation requires the use designers and engineers that have the skills to do the job properly, and to employ proper materials."

And, the professionals should execute great care in assessing roadways, infrastructure in their planning as well. Although buildings are not complete and new residents have yet to occupy several significant buildings in The Pearl, try driving NW Lovejoy during afternoon hours and discovering one may need an extreme unexpected amount of time to get to the main post office. Once occupancy occurs, gridlock is inevitable/irreversible.

Nona: Although buildings are not complete and new residents have yet to occupy several significant buildings in The Pearl, try driving NW Lovejoy during afternoon hours and discovering one may need an extreme unexpected amount of time to get to the main post office. Once occupancy occurs, gridlock is inevitable/irreversible.
JK: Nice description of something that the planners are too dumb to figure out:

Density is a cause of traffic congestion.

See: DebunkingPortland.com/Smart/DensityCongestion.htm

Thanks
JK

"We should preserve the exterior structure of significant buildings"

By my comment I meant doing conversions is a lot tougher/more expensive than ground-up building.

Preserving character makes no sense though. We kick out all the original tenants, gut all the buildings and fill them with people who are a little too precious for the rest of us. And this preserves character how? Besides keeping up facades, that is?

Unless you count buildng expnesive clothing stores, restaurants and art places with a half-life of 6 months as character. This was always about bumping up the tax base - not character.

Preserving character makes no sense though. We kick out all the original tenants, gut all the buildings and fill them with people who are a little too precious for the rest of us. And this preserves character how?

I'll acknowledge this is all very true in the short term. But buildings are designed to outlive residents, and at times even the usage patterns set by the original zoning. If well maintained, in thirty, forty, or fifty years, an original 1870-1910 warehouse structure will still look attractive. And an imitation will even more so look the part of what it is, because it will reveal its 1990's or 2000's heritage in more obvious ways.

Regarding businesses - if the neighborhood demographics turn more mainstream, which they tend to do over time, the present business mix you cite that has nothing to do with providing neighborhood services, will phase over to those that do. And that's happening already - there's a Safeway coming, after all.

"Ha-ha, couldn't happen to a better bunch of people (term used loosely)!"

You sound like a great guy, Steve--not "precious" like all those Pearl residents whom I'm sure you know well and are in a position to evaluate. You're just a great, solid, real guy, defending real Portland values.

I've lived in Portland most of my life, but when I hear people like Steve talk, it makes me glad that the Californians are moving in and the percentage of "Olde Portlanders" is shrinking.

"not "precious" like all those Pearl residents"

OK, I'll clarify. People move into a neighborhood like the Pearl because it is cool/hip. As soom as the coolness fades they are gone.

Other non-Pearl neighborhoods have things like schools and lawns. People have kids and stay to take care of their houses and schools.

Believe me, I know a lot of Pearl residents and they are all a bit too cool for the room. The place is devoid of kids / personality.

If it helps, I grew up here also. But it is not about Portland, it is about building community, not a cluster of expensive watering holes.


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