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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Buckman neighborhood meets tonight to close barn door

The folks who live near the imminent destruction of two turn-of-the-century homes on Hawthorne Boulevard -- to be replaced by a ghastly cr-apartment bunker -- are meeting tonight. Here's the announcement:

This Thursday, October 18th, a Buckman Community Association Land Use Meeting will be held to discuss proposed development at 2607/2625 SE Hawthorne Blvd. The meeting will be in the Multnomah County Board Room, 501 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 7-8:30pm.

These two magnificent and grand, 106 year old historic houses were recently purchased at the end of last month. The new owners plan to build a 4 story, 77 unit apartment building where these homes (currently full of commercial tenants) now lie. Here is what they currently look like.

The tenants were unaware the property was being sold and were all given immediate 30 day eviction notices. The former owner who has held these properties for decades has said he feels sick about the plans to tear them down and did not know this was planned. These properties are now in real danger of being demolished imminently to make way for this new, large development.

The developer, Aaron Jones has been invited to the meeting as well as SERA Principal Architect Kurt Schultz so they can hear concerns about this proposal, and give information to community members. Concerned members of the community are asked to attend. Ideas, suggestions and proposed solutions to save these important properties are welcome and wanted!!

Buckman had a chance to apply to become a historic district a while back, but residents were too worried about how that might restrict their own properties. And so now they're faced with the consequences of Portland's "smart growth" agenda, and there's probably nothing they can do to stop the wrecking ball.

Even with more money than Buckman has, probably the best that could be hoped for would be to move one or both of the houses to a nearby empty lot. Let's hope somebody steps up and they at least salvage that. But they need historic designation down there, and the sooner they wake up to that fact, the better.

Comments (20)

Congratulations to the developers. They're doing their damnedest to turn Portland into Dallas (or, more insultingly, Plano), aren't they?

Those buildings house locally-owned, tax-paying small businesses that cannot afford the rent in tonier places. Where will they go?

Someone ought to video the demolitions and post them on YouTube.

Not a concern for the city DD. They would much rather have site development fees than whatever pittance they can shake out of a small business licensing fee.

It's for their own good. So they should just STFU.

That's exactly what the government gang have been telling the Clackistanis everywhere in the county.

"Everybody in the region is, to some degree, paranoid about Portland and Metro," Hughes said.
"Clackamas County voters must accept that smart growth is a good thing."

There's been a battle of the government against the public
in Lake Oswego, McLoughlin, Damascus, Oregon City, Boring, Estacada and county wide of course.

In every case it's been the anti-public government trying to force upon the communities & neighborhoods what they do not want.

Perhaps these good Portland folks now have a little better understanding of what the Clackistani rebels have been fighting. It's the same Portland Creep invading Hawthorne.

I smell Charlie Hales.

Every man has his price....I wonder what those properties sold for?
And the owner didn't ask why the buyer wanted the property; he or she just took the money and NOW they have "sellers' regrets"?

Interesting to me that no mention is ever made of reforming Measure 50 when discussing these "smarmy growth" projects. Buckman neighbors might find a sympathetic ear from county/city officials, but absolutely no support when the conversion will likely net an increase of $75k in annual property taxes as well as construction jobs and countless development fees. Check your property tax bill against these two when it arrives. We need equity in property taxes so the clowns downtown won't be so emboldened to chase every possible added revenue opportunity that presents itself.

Jack - I wish I lived in Buckman and not Irvington; we've had a historic district here for about year. I wanted to change out an old deteriorated 2 foot by 2 foot window on my home. I had to pay $966 in city fees just for the historic design review. It's been 13 months and no decision. I was told in specific terms that vinyl windows are "inferior" in a historic district...only new wood windows are acceptable. Of course they cost 5X more than Jeld-Wen windows. I wonder what the folks at Jeld-Wen would say if they heard that their products were judged "inferior?"

If you want to stop the wrecking ball the historic district is for sure not the way to go. It's a form of economic elitism...only those with $$ can make needed upgrades to their homes. Stay tuned there is a precedent setting case coming up on this.

I'm glad you can't put vinyl windows on your house. It's a great neighborhood, but property rights extremists will destroy its character if allowed to.

Buckman people want the cheaper windows, too. That's fine -- just say hello to hundreds of hipster neighbors in bad apartments that steal everyone's light, air, and view.

Do be sure to keep us posted on the precedent-setting case.

If people wanted to preserve those houses, they should have bought them before the developer did.

I guess that makes me a property rights extremist.

Maybe. It definitely makes you a person who doesn't appreciate the character of Portland's neighborhoods.

Most people in Portland are likely familiar with the unique historical house with the rounded second story outcropping and steeple like roof that stands on the South side of Powell Boulevard at the East end of the Ross Island Bridge. I believe it was originally owned by a sea captain or shipping magnet because there are stories of men being shanghaied out of the house to work on ships through tunnels that led to the river. Somewhere in the last month or so I saw a photo of the rubble of the near twin – with the round pointed roof and the partially crushed room underneath laying on its side - that once stood just across Powell Boulevard also at the East end of the Ross Island Bridge. The picture had a caption decrying the lack of historical preservation in Portland. It was disheartening to look at. However Portland planners and development advocates still don’t get it. People go to Europe to see century old architecture. Today, The Portland Plan has placed little importance or priority on historical preservation. Has anything really changed with respect for historical preservation since when the photo was taken?

It is really sad. In my neck of the woods it is pretty glaring. If you drive through Hermiston, the biggest town in Eastern Oregon, you'll find zero buildings older than a few decades. It's one big disgusting strip mall. Think Woodburn.

Pendleton, a town close in culture, location and size, has a bunch of nice buildings. Quite a nice little town because of that. Baker City is the same, beautiful. Quaint.


Should have said Tigard, not Woodburn. It's a much better comparison.

"hundreds of hipster neighbors in bad apartments that steal everyone's light, air, and view."

BS, this is about free parking. Which views along 26th and Hawthorne are we blocking again? Oh right, Safeway. Stealing air? Please. The zoning caps out height around four stories, last time I checked. Even fully built out to the code maximums the neighborhood would resemble the Kitsilano neighborhood in Vancouver. Which is pretty nice, I think!

Just typical nimby-ism. Hawthorne already has lots of historic apartment buildings of several stories with no parking even! The historic designation is a blunt cudgel to use that the neighborhood would regret.

I'm not just talking about this site. There are actually several nice views available from various places in Buckman, but they will be stolen by the apartment weasels if something doesn't stop them.

If I wanted to live in Vancouver, I'd move to Vancouver.

And in this case, it's not about the parking. For all I know, the weasels are going to build parking underground. It's about the two 100-year-old houses that are going to be destroyed. That's wrong, with or without the parking.

Then there's the density. Seventy-seven units on that block? That's pure greed.

We have historic designation in Irvington now, and it's great. It ensures that we get to keep the neighborhood we paid for.

The term "nimby" is sort of like invoking the Holocaust. Once you utter it, you lose all credibility. Like your fake IP address.

Based on reports from the neighborhood meeting I'd say you're wrong. This is still about parking. Sorry if I wasn't clear before, kitsilano is a neighborhood in Vancouver, BC that's almost exactly like this area. Streetcar suburb from the turn of the century turned into down run hippy area in the 60's into upscale neighborhood today. It's pretty nice and if inner SE looks like that in 5-10 years it'll be fine.

(Fake IP? Bit confused on that one)

I couldn't believe you were posting from Ukraine. But apparently you really are. I'll resist the temptation to suggest that you stay there. Or move to Vancouver. It's comical, though, that you're telling us what's going on in Buckman when you're halfway around the world. That's hipster Portland, though, perfectly captured.

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