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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Come on, rise up

We spent a little time in beautiful downtown Tillamook over the summer. It's a sleepy place, old and with a lot of character. A small collection of hearty businesses are hanging in there, and the downtown buildings seem to have great "bones" on which a revitalized district could be built if economic conditions ever improve.

They have an "urban renewal" program over that way, and as we see from this story, lo and behold, the program is actually being used to renew what's there -- rather than tear it all down for tacky apartments and pointless commuter trains, the way they do in Portland. Ten grand toward a paint job on a nice old building in that downtown district seems to us to be money well spent.

Comments (8)

Me and a girlfriend went through T-town about 7-8 years ago and had trouble finding any good restaurants. The town had the look of a place that had not changed for 40 years or more. And that is not a compliment.

Later I had the displeasure of driving through every day because of my job. Let's just say that I will never go back to that h____ hole of a town. And the smell is not the only thing in that town that is rotten and I am talking about the local judge and redneck residents.

Have you driven through Sandy lately? They've done the same type of thing ... added "Alpine-style" features to the store fronts and repainted nearly every business in the downtown core in complimentary colors. It looks really nice and I've been told it didn't cost all that much, though I know nothing of the details.

Tillamook area has a lot to offer. Business and pleasure has taken us there. I like Rosanna's Restaurant in Oceanside-one of the best on the Oregon Coast. I can't think of the correct name, but the restaurant opposite of the lumberyard one block off Main has good commoner food. Blue Heron Cheese Factory has a great deli menu. The Tillamook Air Museum is a must. The Courthouse Museum is great. And the Tillamook Cheese Factory (Ice Cream) with it's tour and restaurant is always interesting and good. The architecture has a lot of potential with its late 1880 and on buildings. The smell is money.

So it smells like cow s**t? I grew up with that. Don't mind it. Most people can't deal though.

pointless commuter trains

You ought to read up on the Port of Tillamook Bay Railroad - the railroad that taxpayers bought in the late 1980s, that taxpayers paid multiple times to fix up after storms...finally the Port shut the railroad down, but there are various groups that want to spent another $50-75 million to reopen the railroad for one freight train every other day, plus commuter and tourist trains up and down the coast.

Currently a tourist train runs on the tracks from Garibaldi and Rockaway Beach that is not operationally subsidized, but the tracks are still maintained with tax dollars.

And look at the Coos Bay railroad - they are studying commuter rail on that line...and the folks up in Astoria continue to think that there's prospects for freight traffic in the gentrified downtown core, where whatever industry there was has been long scared away and the idea of Tongue Point being developed is hopeless.

But, it's a fun train ride (well, it's a neat steam engine to see...that takes you on a 40 minute journey alongside 101 that takes 5 minutes to drive.)

Sandy lately? They've done the same type of thing ... added "Alpine-style" features

Apparently Sandy is trying to copy Leavenworth, Washington...

I love Tillamook. It's a great little town. I've been going there since I was little since my dad, for many years, has rented two beach houses out down in Netarts (about 7 mins out from Tillamook, on the beach).
Barely even notice the cow smell anymore.
The place to go when you end up in Tillamook is the AWESOME Tillamook cheese factory.

Apparently Sandy is trying to copy Leavenworth, Washington...

Yeah, I think I read that it was modeled on Leavenworth. Whatever. It looks good and it was relatively inexpensive. It is what I would consider genuine urban renewal (or as urban as Sandy gets anyway) should be.

Taking a good idea that works and copying it is a good practice, IMO. Portland is the dysfunctional poster child of expensive, innovative ideas that go nowhere.

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