Yesterday, the Portland City Council agreed to a waiver of fees and allowed a zoning change, clearing the way for one of the two endangered homes on SE Hawthorne near 27th to be relocated. The re-zoning allows the Montgomery House at 2625 SE Hawthorne to be moved to a lot on SE Madison – behind the Rivermark Credit Union. It will then be converted into 6-7 apartment units.

The Buckman and HAND neighborhood associations, along with numerous concerned neighbors, worked tirelessly to bring this situation to a positive conclusion. This is just the sort of scenario that shows why Portland’s neighborhood association system is such a valuable resource.

It is unfortunate that the second house (2607) could not be saved. It is already in the midst of being deconstructed, so at least some materials from the home will be reused.

The new development on Hawthorne that is replacing the two homes will certainly not be the last of its kind. There are several current and former single family residences on main thoroughfares throughout the city and they should all be considered – at least to some extent – endangered. Most of these homes are not unlike the two on Hawthorne, in that they are not designated historic and have little protection against new development or demolition. Many of these homes – such as the wonderful concrete block house at SE 38th and Division (which is currently for sale) are also neighborhood landmarks. Perhaps it is time to take another look at these buildings and see if there are creative ways in which more can be preserved.