On Old Buildings, Demolition, Deconstruction, and Reuse

In her seminal work The Life and Death of Great American Cities, Jane Jacobs argued "Cities need old buildings so badly it is probably impossible for vigorous streets and districts to grow without them. By old buildings I mean not museum-piece old buildings, not old buildings in an excellent and expensive state of rehabilitation - although these make [...]

City Approves Design for East Burnside Re-Development and Demolition of the Galaxy Restaurant

It came as no surprise that the City of Portland Bureau of Development Services staff approved designs for the proposed Trio Club on East Burnside. As we reported previously, the project will mean the demolition of the Galaxy Restaurant Building - the 1963 Googie-styled Chinese restaurant, that was home to Portland's first Denny's. It's unfortunate that the developer and [...]

Bosco-Milligan Foundation/Architectural Heritage Center’s Position on the Proposed Galaxy Restaurant Redevelopment

With the deadline for comments fast approaching (1/18), the Bosco-Milligan Foundation/Architectural Heritage Center submitted a letter to the City of Portland regarding the proposed project, noting how the proposal does not meet several aspects of the Central City and Central Eastside Design Guidelines. We thought it would be good to share this letter with the public in order [...]

Is Portland’s First Denny’s Worthy of Preservation?

According to the Portland Bureau of Development Services (BDS), the owners of the Galaxy Restaurant at 909 E. Burnside plan to demolish the exiting building and replace it with another single story restaurant. This raises a couple of interesting questions. First of all, unless there are irreversible structural issues, why demolish a building [...]

Accessory Dwelling Units: Meeting Density Goals While Preserving Neighborhood Character

In March 2010, the Portland City Council voted to waive the system development fees for three years associated with constructing so-called "mother-in-law apartments" otherwise known as accessory dwelling units (ADU). This was an important decision as it has made it easier for homeowners in the city to add extra living space at a much reduced cost. Whether [...]

UPDATE Re: New Development at NE 6th and Couch

It seems that the folks at the BDS are having trouble with the link to the meeting notice regarding this development. For the third time the link has changed in the past week or so. Here it is as of this afternoon: The meeting on 12/16 is for "Design Advice" only. For those interested in saving the [...]

New Development Proposals Would Mean Loss of More Historic Urban Fabric

Two new development proposals will likely spell the demise of a few more vintage Portland apartment buildings. The first proposal is for a 5-story 66,000 square foot  mixed-use building at 537 NE Couch. This building would extend the full block from NE Couch to NE Davis - on a lot that includes two early 20th century [...]

LUBA Ruling Re-Affirms Historic Design Review Process

Thanks to Fred Leeson for sharing this fantastic news. Preservationists are heartened by a recent Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals ruling that said owners of a building in the Alphabet Historic District of Northwest Portland could not replace wood windows with new vinyl substitutes without going through historic design review. The Oct. 22 ruling [...]

Current Thinking on Historic Preservation – Insights from the 2010 National Preservation Conference

By Val Ballestrem Last week I had the privilege  of joining hundreds of my preservation colleagues from around the U.S. in Austin, Texas at the 2010 National Preservation Conference - hosted by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The conference provided solid information on a number of fronts on everything from dealing with density to the LEED EB O & M [...]

Window Know-How: A Guide to Going Green

To live green at home, and reduce your monthly energy bills, it's important to evaluate windows. If you live in an older residence, don't assume that replacement windows are the only option. Historic wooden windows are remarkably efficient as long as they're well maintained. (And there's nothing greener than preserving what you already have.) Conversely, [...]