News Dec 2, 2015 at 5:00 pm

The City's "Demolition Epidemic" May Soon Claim Two Century-Old Downtown Buildings


Every structure has a history. The structures being built now will have a history. This process never stops. Stuff changes and that is good. The old days are not coming back. The new days will be better anyway. People need to stop tying themselves to the past. It's over. Sure, some things should be preserved, but those things are few.
Most people who want to stay in a "Boutique Hotel" aren't coming to visit Portland to see generic modern design. I guess these developers hope everyone else maintains the culture of Portland while they demolish away.
The brick buildings have tons of character. They are also going to turn to dust when the big earthquake hits, taking lots of lives with them. New buildings in their place that are built to withstand earthquakes are not all bad.
Development and building reuse have the potential to be friends. Look at Washington High School, it has found an entire new life thanks to Venerable Properties. In Oregon there is pride in thoughtful management of our natural resources, this should extend to our built environment. Restore Oregon is doing good work, Portland is lucky to have them!
It's not about being tied to the past, it's about our story. The story of how Portland came to be, where it's been, and where it's going. I don't know how long you have lived here but if you have no sense of how impactful this is to our foundation, it can't have been long. I don't like Portland, I think it's dirty and riddled with mismanagement, but it's been my home on and off most of my life. If people want to come here, Awesome, but leave our city the way it is and stop destroying our story. Thank. You.
Destroying these two buildings is a shame and regrettable. I am offended that the leaders of our city have so little regard for the history of this city. It's development at all costs. At this rate, our city will have nothing left of it's past.
Boy, they can't tear this city down fast enough can they?
For some perspective, these buildings have existed for less than 1% of the time that Native Americans have inhabited the area. If you really want historic preservation, you would demand that all the buildings be torn down and all the trees be replanted.
On the flipside, think of all the Californians/transplants that will never get to go to the Lotus. That feels kind of good, doesn't it?
Both are cool old buildings, but I walk by the Ancient Order of United Workmen Temple everyday and dear lord, that building is coming crashing down if the big one ever hits... It'd be nice if we could sort of use the existing exteriors of these buildings and somehow incorporate them into the new designs--or just fix them up and retrofit them for the future. There has already been a lot of older buildings lost over the last 50 years in the southern end of downtown in the name of urban renewal, there should be some concern about what still remains.
Sad to see Portland erase it's fine name as a more progressive city but these are times are greatly diminished expectations... But this is the Era of the Quarterly Earnings Report, and a time when having an imagination is seen as a major liability.
Hey lazaar, your problem isn't that California exists. Your problem is that you hillbillies HAVE NO RENT CONTROL and your LANDLORDS CAN EVICT WITHOUT CAUSE. This was ALWAYS going to happen. If it hadn't happened now, it would have happened five years from now, or six or two or ten. If it hadn't been Californians, it would have been Washingtonians or Koreans or Armenians or some shit. Unless maybe you'd got some, I don't know, rent control or something crazy like that. I mean, what the hell is wrong with you people? LA has rent control, and LA is basically Thunderdome. Also, get some seismic retrofit on those historic brick buildings like, now, or you're gonna wish they'd torn them down. Hey, I know, let's forget about it and argue about fluoridated water some more while we silently hate somebody's UCLA bumper sticker. That'll show 'em! Sheesh.
Hey torkfool, have you heard about the hookworm problem we have here in Portland? Nobody wants to talk about it!
Even if these building should not be preserved, this is a terrible way to to decide it.

Probably to be replaced by another tasteless all glass building.
It will be a sad moment when we lose the Lotus. It is truly a Portland institution. On the other hand it is also a structural menace when "The Big One" finally hits. Let something new and structurally sound grow a new history. Portland is not, and never will be, the same city that it used to be, and that is a good thing.
You have to realize how much asbestos is in and under that hotel.. I won't be within 5 miles of when they take it down, that toxic dust will go airborne.. hell no
There are plenty of crumbling brick buildings in Portland even when you tear these death traps down. Look at The Three Kings at Stark and 6th. It's been empty for over a decade. Historic status sometimes means you end up with a useless building contributing nothing to the community.
There's something about historical buildings which I love. I'm stil saddened by the tearing down of the old PGE coke building off highway 30. What Portland needs is a comprehensive evaluation of all buildings a hundred years and older. We then need to decide which buildings can actually be reinforced to withstand an earthquake or other devastating damage. Certain buildings literally cannot be protected due to the type of the foundation. The tearing down of historical buildings that can be reinforced structurally for a reasonable amount of money will eat away at the soul of Portland for the years to come. There are so many parking lots and newer 'shorter' buildings that we can develop before looking to eat the heart of Portland to fill our coffers.
All these concerns about "The Big One" seem to ignore the fact that the original plan was to incorporate and shore up the brick structures (particularly that of the Temple). No one is really arguing that we just leave them there to rot, just that we press developers to stick the plan they sold in the first place. I would love to see the block developed -- I'd just like to see it done with a nod to the architectural history.
Ugh, seriously? Maybe pick a more noble battle (so as to preserve credibility for when something is actually worth preserving).
Methinks jonesrich is right.... Unless George Washington slept there, it should be on the table, open for development.

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