This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 26, 2007 5:17 AM. The previous post in this blog was Last call for pro football picks. The next post in this blog is Ain't it the truth?. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Friday, October 26, 2007

Showdown a-comin'

It looks like it's going to be the public market vs. the art college over who gets the big federal building over by the Portland Main Post Office. The idea of them sharing it is kaput.

Comments (14)

Just ask Mayor Tom what he would like to do in this instance, if you can find him.

Elvis has left the building.

At least he's finally admitting what we've known all along: he's irrelevant. But I'd still not quaff a Sam to that.

I heard a promoter was working up a proposal for a high end hotel on that spot.

Yes, there were noises some time ago about a "boutique" hotel. However, the costs to renovate and seismic the building were just too high to make it pay at all for a private developer.
So I guess now only a government entity will be able pay the bill for the necessary renovations.
Add a couple of billion more dollars to the Portland debt clock, Jack.

He or she had better hurry if you're talking about that federal building.

Once the Post Office is in play, I'm sure there will be all sorts of proposals. You think the city is in debt now -- wait 'til you see what that one will cost the taxpayers.

Portland needs a good mentoring center.

This looks like the "Media Arts" building nonsense the PDC was forced to move into when they couldn't find enough fools to pay their inflated rents.

"I heard a promoter was working up a proposal for a high end hotel on that spot."

Actually, the hotel was proposed as a new use for a building a couple of blocks to the south, the US Customs House building. That building and the old post office in question are somewhat similar in design and both date from the first two decades of the 20th century.

Both buildings have been under-used for many years and are in need of seismic upgrades and renovation. I hope profitable uses for both buildings are found and the renovation happens. The buildings are gorgeous, or would be if spiffed up, and are important parts of Portland history.

No, Richard, you obviously are not in tune with most commenters here. Any public investment in aesthetic values, or in historic preservation, is scoffed at, as being a waste of money. Really, the problem started when those idiots in New York wanted to preserve Penn Station (in Portland, we should have torn down those wastes of public money like Union Station, City Hall, etc.). Since then, well, I'm sure that billions have been wasted on these kinds of things, when we could have just raized them and built cheap, new (well, new when built) pieces of junk that drive everyone to the suburbs.

Give me a break. The tenor of this blog is generally in favor of preserving the city we have, rather than tearing it down and erecting soulless apartment buildings.

I think that's true of the blog (the posts), but my take on the comments is that they often scoff at spending public money for aesthetic reasons, or when the public investment is more than the private sphere would expend on the same project (mainly because no private actor would see the financial return necessary to justify the investment).

Many of the commenters here have indeed bought the Reagan fallacy hook, line, and sinker -- that taxes and regulation are always bad, bad, bad, and we must vote out anyone who so much as suggests either.

The guy the other day who invoked the memory of his dead parents and then indicated that he valued his own freedom from taxes more than their lives -- to me, that says it all.

I believe the Reagan fallacy--as you put it, Jack--is both one of the most damaging and most potent ideas to come along in domestic US politics in my lifetime. Reagan turned government, in the minds of many, into the presumptive enemy and convinced people that utter selfishness is a virtue. That last notion really does seem like the work of the devil, as it exploits the basest human instincts, overcomes fragile tendencies toward compassion, and ultimately destroys society.

I think about half the people in elected office (and almost all people on talk radio) now base their careers on little more than the Reagan fallacy.

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