Architect's rendering of the new Waverly Baby Home from the November 22, 1931 Oregonian.
Last week we mentioned that the old Waverly Children’s Home (3550 SE Woodward) was slated for demolition, as plans are in the works for a new development on the site.
On Monday evening, August 8th at 7PM, the Richmond Neighborhood Association will be hearing more from the developer about his plans for 18 new home sites. If you are concerned about this development, I encourage you to attend this meeting and learn more.
The Richmond Neighborhood Association meets at the Waverly Heights Church, 3300 SE Woodward.
This recent article in the Portland Business Journal, provides some insight into the project. In the article I was surprised to read that apparently it’s a bad thing that Portland’s walkable neighborhoods are filled with older homes. Aren’t older homes one of the big reasons that our older neighborhoods retain their interest and charm? Sure they need to be maintained, but so will any new construction – eventually. And most likely anything built today will not last nearly as long as the 80 year old Waverly Children’s Home main building.
I’m surprised that the developer has not considered the possibility of listing the home in the National Register of Historic Places. While a listing in the National Register is not guaranteed, the building today still retains much of its historic integrity and my guess is that it is certainly still eligible for listing. Such a listing might make a redevelopment project involving reuse of the building eligible for significant tax credits. That could go a long way toward the cost of upgrading and restoration work. It is possible that such a scenario would also still leave plenty of room for several new homes to be constructed. Such an action would meet zoning code – negating fears of any conditional use controversies, it would add housing density, some new construction to appease those that simply must have new, and would preserve an important historic southeast Portland landmark.