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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Portland water empire eats away at a park

The design of the new water pumping station that's going to take away several thousand square feet of Portland's Willamette Park has been shown around now, and it looks like this:

That's an interesting drawing, minimizing the impact on the park, but if you crop it a little you see that the new building is going to be a bulky, tall hulk of a thing:

A year ago, the liars' budget for this facility was $12.2 million. One can only imagine what it's going to end up costing in the end. One thing's certain: That part of the park will never be the same.

Comments (25)

Remember when city works used to put more thought into functionality of pumping stations, rather than landscaping and whatnot?

Why does it need those massive windows, so the pumps can enjoy natural sunlight?

Oh, for a minute there I thought that was the design for the latest transit-oriented, LEED-Einsteinium-or-whatever condo bunker.

That park has already been altered by pay-for-parking! It used to be a nice place to take the kids. Not anymore.
I can understand have pay-for-parking by the boat ramp, but the kid's playground?

It should be reported that the new drinking water pump station will replace a 100-year old facility now located on a crowded residential street. The station is vital to getting water to southwest neighborhoods. In 2008-2009, the Water Bureau and Portland Parks first sought out the public's opinion before considering building in the park.

The other two options: demolish and rebuild a larger building on the site, or purchase and demolish a number of homes adjacent to the current location. These two options caused major disruptions to the community. Overwhelmingly the neighborhood associations and people who responded to a survey supported the park option.

As requested by the neighborhoods and park users, a group of 10 local citizens worked with architects to come up with the proposed design and landscaping plans. The building includes more public restrooms and more storage space for park equipment. PP&R was compensated for the loss of park space. These funds will go towards needed improvements in Willamtte Park, which will be identified by a citizens-PP&R committee.

In Washington County, a larger wastewater pump station is located in the popular, but smaller Tualatin Park.

Interesting, if Homer gets his way on the Foothills in LO, how's he going to charge us for hiding the sewer treatment plant down there?

Mr. Bogdanski, you may be correct in assuming the size of the building and its impact on the park. However, basing this assumption on a computer rendering that some overworked, poorly paid, sleep deprived, architectural intern threw some stock figures into is a little disingenuous. If the scale is correct then the windows are 20' tall, the siding approximately 15" exposure and the exterior light projects around 3' from the building. I don't believe any of that is accurate. Take a look at the size of the cars in the background and you will realize that the size of the people is off. Your 'cropped' image really doesn't prove anything I'm afraid.

It's the drawing the public is being shown. If it doesn't represent the building, the public is being deceived. Which is it?

It should be reported that the new drinking water pump station will replace a 100-year old facility now located on a crowded residential street.

Tim, I know you're busy Tweeting the admiral's Caesar salad recipe, but if you click on the first link in this post, you'll see that I not only report that, but also show the readers what the existing station looks like. It's much, much smaller and less obtrusive than the monolith you're planning to build, that's for sure.

Kind of looks like the Borg spacecraft, a fitting metaphor for the PWB under Randy's leadership. Resistance is futile, Portland ratepayers!

ABS... You are CORRECT: it made no sense to pay a fee to take Jr. to play on the jungle gym for 30 minutes after work. We would only stop there AFTER the parking nazis had left for the day.

I wonder if the CoP even manages to cover their labor costs on cloudy weekdays?

Mr. Bogdanski, I did see the post, but it lacked the public involvement activities that, I feel, should be noted which is why I responded. The old station is obsolete with older pumps and it would be extremely difficult to replace them in the current space. The new station is taller because the electrical must be able to operate above any flood water, as in 1996 and 1948 floods. The new station would have been about the same size, minus the restrooms, but definitely not has tall.

Honestly, I don't tweet for the bureau, and must admit I have never sent one. I'm happy to discuss any aspects of this project with you or anyone - 503-823-6926.

Enjoy your day.

When you need to make something big ,ugly and cheap , it is best to paint it a light color to diminish the visual impact of the mass. But hey , maybe they were going for dark , foreboding and depressing....

a 100-year old facility now located on a crowded residential street

BTW, what will happen to that real estate when the new pumphouse is built? Don't tell me -- it will be handed over to a real estate weasel who will build apartments, making the place even more crowded. Doubtlessly with little or no parking added.

Sorry Tim Hall; you have work for a lout and a bully and an ignorant one at that. You are probably marking the days till Randy is gone. As a rate payer, I sure am!
Thanks for the phone number though, I may make use of it in the future.

These rendering are terrible. A better quality rendering would cost more $$.

If the PWB paid more money for better renderings, would people be on here claiming it cost too much money?

Something to consider.

In Washington County, a larger wastewater pump station is located in the popular, but smaller Tualatin Park

Actually, if it's the CoPo station you're referring to, with the effluent lines having been rebuilt yet again, it's located outside the park, on the east bank of Fanno Creek.

It is more about the building contracts than open space for people anymore.

If they are so concerned about the floods, then why all those buildings in SoWhat?
Aren't they on a flood plain?

Great planning here with the UGB that we have to be building on flood plains instead of keeping that greenway open for the public.

Tim Hall, the support from the Neighborhood Assn. (just 9 people voted which doesn't really represent a neighborhood) wasn't unanimous. In fact there were several past NA officers and Greenway and Park advocates that were opposed. Even Urban Greenspace Institute and Mike Houck had opposition to this siting.

In regards to the flood plain, I vividly remember the 1996 Flood water being over two feet higher than the trolley tracks to the west of this building. This is a poor choice of siting making the building height massive for the park and adjacent tennis courts.

I've heard the amount of "compensation" to Willamette Park is pittance for the land used, and its disturbance. Can you give an accurate reimbursement amount. The Water Bureau donating $500 dollars or so to the Summer Concerts in the Park isn't much. All the Park's parking revenue for over the last 20 years was to go to the Park, which it hasn't. That should be audited and the Park properly compensated. There hasn't been one Park improvement in all this time. The Marine Bd. paid for the boat launching ramp. It took an act of Congress to even get new tennis nets several years ago.

May the memory of Amanda Jacobson, CLTH Parks Chairperson, correct the misuse of public funds in regards to Willamette Park.

Dear Tim Hall,
Get your head into the game. If you (Portland) want to send out an artistic representation of a major infrastructure project then get the visual facts straight. Are the people nearest the building in front of the lower floor accurately scaled or not? It's not that hard, so for you to defend the ineptitude of whoever produced and distributed this drawing is indefensible. Yet, I'm certain it was meant to be what it is, deceptive information.

Having experience in creating and making these kinds of presentations it is rather OBVIOUS that the artist (and you?) are trying to force the viewer into perceiving that the foreground people establish the scale. It should have occurred to someone (like you?) to add a scale... you know, that collection of numbers that go from 0' to maybe 30', then tip it upright and place it next to the building edge. I've done this a few times. It really helps the viewer.

By the way, your carefully crafted response never did tell me that "a group of 10 local citizens worked with architects to come up with the proposed design" eventually presented this plan unanimously. Also, who are these ten people and who do they represent.

I'm glad Jack brings these abuses by Portland planning to our attention.

Get your head into the game.... for you to defend the ineptitude of whoever produced and distributed this drawing is indefensible.

Carol, it was rewFer who commented on the drawing, not Tim Hall.

(from the March 11th link)Part of the Ordinance agreement includes expanding that to 4 unisex restrooms (for summer concert peak use)

Don't like the unisex bathrooms!

PWB ineptitude isn't limited to the Portland city limits. The Fanno Creek pump station project in Beaverton has reached the MASSIVE FAIL stage. Mr. Hall, perhaps you can address COP's misguided attempts to bulldoze one of the finest residential properties in that area, the botched effort to lay a new PWB sewer line under the existing Fanno Creek Trail, and the bullying of residential neighbors who refuse to accept COP's way of doing things.

There's no escaping the long arm of stupidity.

ws, where does it say that a "better quality rendering would cost more $$"???
Money isn't what determines a more accurate, or better quality rendering. Just do your job, that you're paid for anyway...correctly. And if you don't, get fired or admit you aren't qualified for your job and quit. It always seems it's $$$ around here that solves everything.


Who knows who did these? It was probably thrown to a temp or intern. I can only speculate.

Rudimentary understanding of quality reveals it costs more for better things.

There's no defense of these images, in fact they're inaccurate (with what looks like an indoor bamboo species) and the foreground people twice as big as the people in the background (or vis-versa).

The question I posited is if these were well done renderings, you and others would be criticizing the City of Portland of being overstaffed and overpaid, which they just might be.

You can't have it both ways.

We're not interested in the quality of the drawings, or how much was spent on them. The concerns are (a) taking away scarce park land, and (b) building a monstrosity on it. If you can't discuss those issues, please end your repetitive comments.

One thing's certain: That part of the park will never be the same.

Neither will many other parks where open space
was taken by our parks bureau
for their "deemed appropriate use."

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