An unappreciated mid-century spot in Milwaukie

Downtown Milwaukie is experiencing major changes to its downtown core. From the south Downtown area (there’s an actual crane up in Milwaukie) with two huge mixed-use projects up within a couple of years, to a new library, to more mixed-use dotted along McLoughlin, downtown will look different in 2-3 years. It hasn’t seen this much growth and construction probably since after WW2.

That said, Milwaukie has an impressive stock of mid-century ranch homes sprinkled throughout the neighborhoods that have remained unscathed in their original condition.

Many commercial mid-century buildings also dot the landscape from super-mod churches to office buildings to bowling alleys.

One mid-century building still standing is the (now former) Milwaukie Cleaners building. Almost invisible, since it sits on a desolate part of Main street (most people usually drive by it to hop on 99) it was built in 1959 and designed by Joseph H. Rudd & Associates, a Portland architecture firm. The streamlined design and folded plate roof were commonly found on dry cleaners of the time. The space is a bit striking and unusual, most notably that roof.

According to Leesa Gratreak, MS, Architectural Historian, at HDR, Joseph H. Rudd & Associates was started by Joseph H. Rudd in 1950 after completing his degree in architecture at the University of Oregon. Rudd, originally born in Idaho in 1922, was active in local philanthropy and housing boards in Portland, as well as an active member of the city planning committee in Vancouver, Wash. Rudd continued to design with the firm until his retirement in 1990 and he passed away in 2003.

Examples of additional work include Yaw’s Top Notch Restaurant in Portland; quarters for the Sisters of St. Dominic on the Marycrest High School campus in Portland; a U.S. National Bank Building on Division Street in Portland; as well as numerous residential buildings throughout the Portland metro area.

“The building is an excellent example of mid-century plate glass design and exhibits a folded plate roof and decorative concrete block patterning,” says Gratreak. “The roof is considered a common feature associated with dry cleaners as it allowed a wide overhang for items to be safely transferred into the vehicle.”

Once Milwaukie Cleaners closed shop, the future of the building remained unknown. Just recently, tell-tale signs of a new business showed up—brown paper on the windows—with word on the street that new tenants will be involved in the budding CBD industry.

Want to see downtown Milwaukie’s building history up close? Gratreak will be leading a tour of downtown Milwaukie this Saturday. Go here to sign up.

An 1800s church, beer, and building a community

It started with breakfast in Turner, Oregon.

Chad Casady recalls having breakfast with his wife, Melissa, and neighbors, throwing ideas back and forth, and the abandoned church around the corner came up in conversation. One of the ideas: turn the church into a taphouse.

 After the paint job.  Source.

After the paint job. Source.

So, after breakfast that day, the Casadys and neighbors walked over to the church and found the front door wide opened. “We helped ourselves, took a tour of the place, and it was a disaster,” says Casady. “The inside was not well kept, the whole thing needed to be gutted, the foundation looked pretty bad. Posts and beams were rotten. It looked like it needed some TLC.”

Built in 1891, the 127-year-old church, near Salem, was obviously neglected and that’s when most people would’ve walked away. In fact, it’s seen numerous tenants during the previous decades, with the last tenant living in the basement.

 Deconstruction on interior.  Source.

Deconstruction on interior. Source.

Casady, though, started the reconstruction process. At the beginning of 2015, he started research on the building, then researched construction costs associated with renovating it. He brought in an inspector, a foundation expert to take a look at the foundation and structure, and then a general contractor to map out what it was going to take. Then it was off to the City of Turner.

 Pre-paint job.  Source.

Pre-paint job. Source.

The City was exceptionally helpful, says Casady, but a maybe bit cynical at first.  “When I came in, the city administrator said, “You know how many people have come in, just like you with some grand dream for this building?’ and I said, ‘I'm not in the business of dreaming, I'm business execution here, so if you want to help out, I'm interested in figuring out what it takes to get from step A to step B,’” says Casady.

From there, he continues to work with the city and county numerous times before putting in an offer. And then, even more research.

Demographics, speaking with local business owners about the market, the future of the city, and where they think the city is going. In fact, Turner is starting to see some changes, like a new community-based café that’s been successful. “It’s proving that the community is ready for something cooler than a mill,” says Casady.

So, how does someone like Casady, who has a background in tech (he’s VP of IT at Performance Health Technology in Salem) and no construction experience retrofit a hundred-plus-year-old building?

“I really didn't understand how a lot of the systems worked, you know as far as like putting contracts together, getting approvals and stuff. I've never done a construction project. I was involved in building my own house, but not like this,” he says.

The key to success he believes is having a strong partner (Casady credits his wife Melissa as his true partner), hiring the right contractor, and if you can swing it, someone you know and trust. An old acquaintance, Ryan Records, of Records Construction has been his partner throughout the retrofit, as well as a team of solid subs to help guide the project.

 More deconstruction.  Source.

More deconstruction. Source.

The end game, of course, is to have a community gathering place, serve some local beers (they’re installing a 32-tap system with local beers from Salem including Gilgamesh, Salem Ale Works, Vagabond, and Santiam) as well as other Oregon and west coast beers.

But it’s also a bit more. Casady wanted a taproom, called Angel's Share Barrel House (“Angel’s share” is the portion of alcohol that’s lost to evaporation with aged spirits—”if you want tasty booze, you’ve got to pay the Angels their share,” Casady says), and a place to hang out, but also help build a stronger community. With his own money funding the retrofit he believes the taproom will be more than a beer place.

“To bring something back that has been sitting there for decades, and people have just complained about this building and no one was doing anything about it. This is such an important piece of history for the community and we need to do something with it,” he adds.

August 30, 2018: Weekly design and building news

Here's a roundup of building, design and development news around Portland. 

The Redd ready to open
The Redd by Ecotrust will take up two city blocks and function as an "urban ecosystem for the regional food economy."  In its final phase of construction, it's expected to open for full operation by the end of the year.  Here's a feature from Lost Oregon a couple years back on its history and vision. 

 The red Redd.  Source.  

The red Redd. Source. 

The Portland Plaza gets a facelift
The Portland Plaza just finished its 10-year, $10 million renovation and Brian Libby from Portland Architecture has an in-depth look. 

When it was completed in 1973, just three years after the Keller Fountain (known then as the Forecourt Fountain), the idea of contemporary or luxury living in Portland, especially in a tower, was new.
 Portland Plaza and Lawrence Halprin's Keller Fountain put on a show via a postcard.

Portland Plaza and Lawrence Halprin's Keller Fountain put on a show via a postcard.

O'Bryant Square closed until ...2023?
The DJC is reporting that the redevelopment of downtown Portland's O'Bryant Square may take until 2023. The public space has been shuttered since March due to structural issues. The fence is so welcoming, too. 

 O'Bryant Square in better times, circa 1976.

O'Bryant Square in better times, circa 1976.

Urban walking isn’t just good for the soul. It could save humanity
That's not my headline —it's from the Guardian, and it's a good one. The nugget: walking around cities is good for your health and it's good for the businesses that inhabit downtowns. You just don't see the details when you're driving. Case in point: Hopping off the Orange Line at PSU yesterday to watch the Timbers (win, whew), we strolled up Jefferson to the Goose Hollow Inn for a pre-match beer. The furthest I'd been up Jefferson was OHS, but as we walked I was surprised that I'd never been on this stretch before. Just when you think you've seen every block in downtown.

Event amplification: My Existential Crisis and Other Random Acts | Martha Schwartz

You might have already seen this event being promoted but just in case. 

Portland Design Events is presenting Martha Schwartz of Martha Schwartz Partners (MSP)—a leading international design practice whose work focuses on activating and regenerating urban sites and city centers—with a two-part presentation on 9/13. 

The first part will be about the work of Martha Schwartz Partners that spans from the very early installation works to the most recent work being done by the practice. The work will show an evolution of scale and approach to design.

The second part of the presentation will be sharing Schwartz's concerns about climate change and the conflicts this knowledge has brought which has resulted in the re-evaluation of her own priorities as a professional. Here's her take: 

I'm in a transition now as I am beginning to learn more about climate change and how we, as a practice, might fundamentally change our approach to design. As a teacher, my goals have shifted to teaching students how we, as landscape architects, can respond meaningfully to climate change.

I'm not a designer or an architect but this sounds interesting for everyone that cares about how our cities and spaces are going to be designed. Go here to sign up!

On display: Vintage 1970s Douglas Fir model of downtown Portland

This totally escaped my radar but there’s a vintage 1970s Douglas Fir model of downtown Portland on display as part of Converge 45’s installation of Ann Hamilton's, Habitus, at Centennial Mill through September 16.

In the early days of Portland’s downtown renaissance, Portland planners created a civic ritual for thinking about new development: including this crafted Douglas fir model of the city. For years, as a requirement of design review, developers and architects were required to bring any proposed downtown building, scaled in white cardboard, and place in the city model.

Randy Gragg is currently working on an exhibit idea to combine it with new “models” of other districts of the city—current or aspired to—for Design Week Portland 2019.

If you’re not busy 8/28 or 8/30, Gragg will also be presenting some ideas to “inspire community groups, developers, designers and leaders to think about the larger context of their districts and their city.”

Here’s a quick schedule

August 28: 5:30-7 pm, Tuesday, August 28—Short talk at 6

August 30: Noon-1:30 pm—Short talk at 12:30

Where: Centennial Mills, NW Naito Parkway & NW 9th Avenue (Look for the signs leading to Converge 45 and Habitus)

Please RSVP: randygraggprojects@gmail.com

A stroll through Portland's West End

James Cook, director of retail research in the Americas for JLL, has an interesting podcast called Where We Buy, “a show about the things we buy and the places we buy them.”

 Source. 

Source. 

In his most recent episode he explores Portland’s West End with Jonathan Ledesma, a partner with developer Project^. They talk about the challenges, opportunities and the transformation of the West End through adaptive reuse.

 Union Way: The shops may have changed since its opening,  but the design still shines. 

Union Way: The shops may have changed since its opening,  but the design still shines. 

The two projects highlighted include Blackbox, a retail and creative space in a historic brick building, and Union Way, the shopping alley that connects two streets through two former night clubs. I'm probably not the target shopping audience for Union Way but I still love its aesthetics, the vibe, the design (those flush-mounted floor lights...), and the fact that it magically empties out to Powell's (how convenient). It's the perfect example of a building being reborn as a fun and useful space. 

Grab a beverage and give the episodes a listen.

Crowdfunding a neighborhood hang-out: Ye Olde Towne Crier

Crowdfunding for retrofitting local buildings is one intriguing idea. I like it for a couple of reasons: One, the return is making your own neighborhood better or more livable and two the return is pretty immediate. You invest in a building around the corner, you can see the work being done daily. I also like it because you don’t have to invest handfuls of cash—for a crowdfunding site like NextSeed, the minimum is $100. Throw in an adaptive reuse component and it sounds even more appealing.

 Rendering of the new version.  Source.

Rendering of the new version. Source.

This brings us to a local project in Portland (in Woodstock): the Ye Olde Towne Crier (you might know it better as Grandma’s, copious smoking, and karaoke). Here’s the scoop: Tacee Webb, who has a 19 year career in retail, real estate and retail development, is retrofitting the space and naming it (actually going back to its original name) Ye Olde Towne Crier. The goal is to retrofit it “as a multi-level ode to Portland’s past and its current residents, a place to chat and dine among one another and enjoy the city’s brightest talent.” 

So, why NextSeed? According to their website, “investing isn’t just for Wall Street and Silicon Valley. Everyone can now access exclusive investment opportunities and build a financial portfolio with local businesses.” The company focuses on helping consumer-facing, brick-and-mortar businesses in the food and beverage, health and wellness, fitness, hospitality and co-working industries.

 Towne Crier, 1953.  Source. 

Towne Crier, 1953. Source. 

And, according to Webb, by using NextSeed, “the risk is being absorbed so you don’t have to lose your house. It’s a higher risk for start-ups; this lets them get investors in a less riskier way.” 

The project currently has raised $13,900 by 30 investors.

Webb hopes the Towne Crier will become a community gathering and destination spot as well as a local hangout for students of the Reed College neighborhood and locals from the Creston-Kenilworth community. The attached Treasury Cafe and Lounge will provide morning-evening service. Nighttime entertainment will include live music and whisky tastings featuring local musicians and artisans. Preeminent spirits expert Stuart Ramsay will oversee curation of the bar program.

“There are so many stories and it feels like a patchwork quilt that’s perfect for a community project," says Webb. "There are many former customers in their 60s and 70s that have some great stories and we think it will help provide a sense of a place for them." 

The new space will also be a sort of repository for lost Portland restaurant artifacts: The stained glass windows are from Embers, the vintage neon Lounge sign (and its HVAC system) comes from The Overlook, while chandeliers from Der Rheinlander will grace the ceiling. 

If you’re interested in helping fund the project (or any project), NextSeed provides some pretty decent details, from key terms, location analysis, and revenue sharing summary.

If you’re interested in retrofitting an old building in your own neighborhood, NextSeed is a good start. It doesn't actually finance real estate purchases (Webb owns the building; she purchased it in 2017) but it can help you get on the path, and you’re going to need to be nailed down with your financials and have some semblance of a business plan (this is real estate, not a widget you’re working on). 

Parting advice from Webb: “Have a strong team and partners. I’m not a restaurateur but my partner is. That’s been so helpful.”

Podcast interview with Kevin Cavenaugh (and insight on his Fair-Haired Dumbbell)

I first learned about developer Kevin Cavenaugh’s work years ago when I was managing editor of a building trade magazine that focused on development, building techniques, and exciting topics like new siding and decking materials. (Kidding aside, I loved every minute of it.)

His Box + One project was – at the time – revolutionary here in Portland. With its garage door windows and boxy exteriors– now commonplace – and small footprint of space, the project helped elevate an entire neighborhood. Other projects soon followed, some smaller, some larger all under his company name, Guerrilla Development.

Since I’m keenly interested in small-scale, incremental projects that change neighborhoods for the better, whether that’s restoring an existing building – something Kevin says should be and could be done on any building, I was wrong in thinking that he intentionally built smaller projects. He talks about why he builds small – and not huge projects.

This podcast (Built Blocks) was originally produced by me last year —look for a revamped Small-Scale City podcast soon. 

Milwaukie Bay Park is back

OK, it really never went away but to the casual observer nothing much has been going on since the initial grand opening three years ago. Since then, the grass has yellowed and the geese have pretty much been chased away. Now, it's ready for the next steps: the final design phase.

It's been a piecemeal process.  The Klein Point Overlook was constructed (it offers a nice vantage point where Johnson Creek meets the Willamette), then a new boat dock and boat trailer parking were constructed, then restroom facilities built, and finally a connection to the Trolley Trail. Next up: A bank restoration project will begin this year, and even more park improvements will soon be planned for construction in 2020.

 The  survey asks : "Pick 2 photos that show how you would like artistic elements, history, and local character to be incorporated into the park." Answer: More techno!

The survey asks: "Pick 2 photos that show how you would like artistic elements, history, and local character to be incorporated into the park." Answer: More techno!

Construction on final park improvements is expected to begin by summer 2020, but first, the city of Milwaukie is looking for community feedback.

JLL Completes Sale of Indigo @ Twelve | West

Hot of the press (release):

JLL’s Capital Markets experts today announced the sale of Indigo @ Twelve | West, a mixed-use property in the vibrant West End district of Portland, on behalf of an ownership group represented by Gerding Edlen and Downtown Development Group.

Screen Shot 2018-07-30 at 1.47.37 PM.png

Developed in 2009 by Gerding Edlen and designed by ZGF Architects, this dynamic mixed-use building offers 273 modern apartments, 85,000 square feet of creative office, 321 underground parking stalls, and curated, street level retail under one green roof. The anchor of the West End neighborhood, with its prominent, skyline-defining wind turbines, and incomparable multifamily amenities, Indigo is an iconic property that has consistently performed at the top of the Portland market.

The transaction was conducted through the combined efforts of the JLL Northwest Capital Markets team. The commercial side was lead by JLL Managing Directors Buzz Ellis and Paige Morgan, and Vice President Adam Taylor, while Senior Vice President Mark Washington and Managing Directors David Young and Corey Marx led the multifamily team.

Opening the Locks at the Willamette Falls? Maybe.

The Willamette Falls project is one of the biggest undertakings the Portland metro area has seen. It's had some bumps and stops along the way (that's an understatement) since the paper mill closed in 2011 but for the most part, it's back on track.

First up will be a new riverwalk, with plans designed by Snøhetta. Then it's anyone's guess what will happen next, from mixed use something-something, condos, shopping. It's going to change the McLoughlin corridor, from Milwaukie to Oregon City. If you've ever driven on McLoughlin and seen the car lots, strip joints, this is a good thing. 

And, just last week it was announced there's yet another new plan: Possibly reopening the decommissioned Willamette Falls Locks. The Willamette Falls Locks Commission (appointed by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown) is working to advise state, local and regional stakeholders on the "development and implementation of policies relating to the repair, reopening, operation and maintenance of the Willamette Falls navigation canal and Locks."

The Locks are currently owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who shuttered the Locks in 2011. But, according to a Local Economic Potential Study conducted by ECONorthwest, Oregon could see tremendous economic benefits from recommissioning the Locks. The study found that over the next 30 years: 

  • Transportation benefits of $12-$49 million
  • Recreation benefits of $12-$50 million
  • 80,000-220,000 truck trips removed from Portland area roads
  Source.   Stern-wheel steamboat Grahamona in the Willamette Falls locks, sometime between 1912 and 1918.

Source.  Stern-wheel steamboat Grahamona in the Willamette Falls locks, sometime between 1912 and 1918.

Reopening the Locks and returning navigational access around Willamette Falls holds tremendous historical and cultural value to Oregonians, and to the state’s Native American tribes.

Plus? It'd be cool to travel past the Falls and beyond in the Willamette in a boat or on a kayak, right? Crossing our fingers on this one and we'll be writing much more on this amazing project.

 

Milwaukie mystery structure

Celebrate Milwaukie's Facebook page posted an interesting pic of a half-built commercial structure. Looking like a cross between a building kit, a Q-Hut and a 1950s sci-fi movie spaceship, the modular structure is located on King Road just east of the Milwaukie line.

37582223_1888104451229041_116541699898998784_n.jpg

What makes it even more intriguing is that, at one point, the location (or at least close to it) was going to be the new home of Clay's Smokehouse when they closed on Division. (They're back on Division and killing it.) The property on King was dormant for years, until the structure just kind of appeared a couple months back.

We checked records and found nothing. 

Gerding Edlen will lead development of OMSI property

Yeah, it’s not exactly “small-scale” but it’s worth noting (and we’ll definitely be following and posting more) since it has the potential to completely change Central Eastside.

The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) announced today it has selected the master developer with whom it will partner on the development of its 18-acre riverfront campus: Gerding Edlen. They’ll provide strategic support and guidance for the OMSI team, working with them and other firms on a long-term vision for the development of the site.

Multiple firms, including many local entities, will be part of the development team led by Gerding Edlen and will play important roles in the development of the OMSI property including SERA Architects, The Farkas Group, URBAN.SYSTEMS, and Long Haul Capitall

 Source. 

Source. 

Next steps for OMSI and the Gerding Edlen team include a planning process, which will lead to an application for a Central City Master Plan and a Development Agreement with the City of Portland for public infrastructure. Gerding Edlen will also begin to work with its team to develop innovative infrastructure solutions that they hope to implement as part of the redevelopment.

Read more about the project here and here.

Next steps for Westmoreland church property: 31 townhomes

Last night, the SMILE Land Use Committee invited the developer to present their proposed conceptual framework to build 31 townhomes on the site of the Tenth Church of Christ Scientist at 5736 SE 17th Avenue. I attended it with Matt from SUM Design Studio + architecture (thanks for the heads-up, Matt!). 

Architect and developer Cody Johnecheck walked the committee and local citizens through some of the details of the project. Here are some of them

  • Five buildings, 31 units (townhomes), with some three-story and some shared courts
  • A public access street for non-residents that connects SE 17th and SE 18th
  • One (or maybe 2) parking spots per unit; guests will park on the street
  • Based on the dimension plan, they'd like to keep three of the larger trees and incorporate (according to Johnecheck they've "proposed" keeping them to the city, the city could deny, so...)
  • The project, if approved, will be completed in three years; townhomes are expected to go for the mid $500,000s
  • The style will be contemporary or transitional 

Next steps: Since this is a Type 3 project, there will be a public notice generated and more opportunities to comment during the land use approval process.  

Interesting note: The SMILE presenter says there are "1,000 units in the pipeline" in Sellwood-Moreland, including 304 parking spaces, or a 25% increase in more housing. 

 31 units and five buildings. 

31 units and five buildings. 

New timber building breaks ground in Central Eastside

Beam Development and Urban Development + Partners (UD+P) continue to transform the Central Eastside with District Office, a six-story mass timber creative office building located at 525 SE MLK Blvd. With construction underway, the project features ground floor retail, open office floorplates, generous ceiling heights and innovative, double-height indoor/outdoor deck spaces.

 The mass timber project is underway just as another timber building was scrapped. 

The mass timber project is underway just as another timber building was scrapped. 

Hacker Architects designed the project and will be moving its headquarters to the top floor of District Office upon completion in late 2019 with Andersen Construction building the project and JLL leading the leasing efforts.

“As one of the first development companies to recognize the potential of the Central Eastside and help pioneer its transformation, we anticipate District Office will serve as a catalyst for the revitalization of the emerging Grand/Stark corridor,” said Beam Development Principal Jonathan Malsin.

With 72,000 square feet of office space, District Office offers an extensive list of best in class amenities such as highly efficient mechanical systems, indoor / outdoor lounge space with operable windows and abundant natural light.  The innovative design includes a 40’ column-to-window span to maximize floor plan flexibility and allows for efficient open or private office layouts. In addition, the building will be built with cross-laminated timber sourced in Oregon, which is a highly durable and resilient type of mass timber construction that achieves larger spans, beautiful exposed structure, lower environmental impact and benefits the rural Oregon economy.

“This project prioritizes year-round usable office space that feels connected to the outdoors,” said UD+P Principal Eric Cress.“ With the massive windows and location in the heart of the Central Eastside, District Office is going to be an outstanding place to work.”

The new space will add 9,500 rentable square feet of ground-floor retail space, encompassing dining and retail, to the district to provide building tenants and the community with social and recreational features amongst the professional environment. District Office also offers onsite parking, showers and lockers, and bike parking for its users.

“The Central Eastside continues to see an amazing progression of placemaking for some of Portland’s most dynamic businesses,” said JLL Managing Director Jake Lancaster.

Zidell Yards statement on next steps, wood skyscraper DOA, Portland Building...leggings?

More on Zidell Yards
Jay Zidell, president of ZRZ Realty Company, released a statement on their site today. Here's a blurb from it: 


After lengthy negotiations with the City of Portland, we’ve decided to mutually terminate the Development Agreement for Zidell Yards. 

It comes down to two simple things: the cost of public infrastructure and the need to secure outside funding. The public infrastructure that would have been a part of Zidell Yards included ten acres of new public parks and Greenway, new public docks and a publicly accessible beach as well as the extension of Bond Avenue and significant investments in affordable housing.

We were happy to contribute as much as we could to these projects, but we compete for financing with projects across the city and nation. Zidell Yards could not bear the sizable additional infrastructure costs the City was requesting and still generate the market returns needed to secure outside funding. 

Central Eastside gets (yet) another new tenant
After nearly 10 years on Mississippi Avenue, Animal Traffic is relocating to the Central Eastside. Well known for their vintage clothes, Animal Traffic will occupy a 2.465 SF space with a 1,650 SF showroom in the newly renovated Taylor Works Building at 134 SE Taylor Street. Alongside their highly curated clothing selection will be a new shoe lounge. Animal Traffic will be an exclusive retailer of Dr. Marten’s Made in England line for men and women.

Tower of wood no more
Willamette Week reported that the "deal to build a record-setting wooden Portland tower that was expected to be the tallest in North America is off." It was going to be 12 stories tall and constructed from cross-laminated timber. Reason: the costs were too high.

Portland Building Leggings
It's exactly what you think it is. Portland Design Events, the "premier website for finding and sharing architecture and design-related events in Portland, Oregon," (and a favorite site of ours) also has a store where you can buy Portland design-inspired items. Like? Like these Portland Building leggings

leggings.jpg

Headline of the week: CVS commits urban malpractice with generic store designs that poison neighborhoods
One, the Dallas Morning News has an architecture critic. That's rad. How many daily newspaper have an architecture critic any more? (Thankfully we have Brian Libby's Portland Architecture.) Two, this review takes apart a new Dallas CVS, piece by piece. Here's a nice nugget: 

The interior design is manipulative, but the exteriors are worse, for they actively encourage unhealthy behavior by abetting an auto-centric lifestyle and making the city actively worse for anyone who would prefer or requires other means of mobility, above all walking.

Orange Line Ale Trail; Westmoreland church for sale; new Central Eastside shuttle

The Orange Line Ale Trail
Ok, it's not really a thing but it could be, drinking beers without driving, from downtown Milwaukie to Tilikum Crossing. Here's a quick take on your beery adventure. 

 Orange Line Ale Trail.  Source

Orange Line Ale Trail. Source

First (or last) stop: Beer Store Milwaukie. Revolving taps, OK food, bottles and cans. 

Next stop: Ruse Brewing, located in the Iron Fireman Collective building (after 7/14!). 

Hop back on Max,then get off at the Clinton stop and head to Apex, BeerMongers then Los Gorditos. Depending on your state, you can get back on Max or walk to Tillikum Crossing to enjoy more beers at the recently opened Mt. Hood Brewery at Tilikum Station. If you're feeling adventurous, hoof it down Water Avenue for 20 minutes where you can hit up Hair of the Dog, Produce Row Cafe, and Wayfinder. (But that's a different post for a different kind of blog.) 

Update: Looks like The Portland Mercury thinks the same thing. 

 Mt. Hood Brewery's new spot offers beers, pizza, a refurbished caboose as a dining room, and a front-row seat of the Orange Line and train museum across the street. 

Mt. Hood Brewery's new spot offers beers, pizza, a refurbished caboose as a dining room, and a front-row seat of the Orange Line and train museum across the street. 

New shuttle in Central Eastside
Not to keep talking about beer, but... if you want to keep your beerventure going (or need to get to work) you can always keep walking down Water Avenue to a handful of breweries and taprooms. Or? Take the just-launched Water Avenue Courtesy Shuttle, for free. It runs from 6:30am to 9:30am and 4pm-7pm. with stops including the Dairy Building parking lot, Oregon Rail Heritage Center parking lot, North OMSI parking lot, ODOT Block parking lot, Eastside Exchange parking lot and Oregon Convention Center. Prowling around Central Eastside yesterday, we saw it cruise by pretty frequently. 

shuttle.png

Mid-century church in Westmoreland a goner?
We always liked this mid-century church building but it might not be around for very much longer. Though the land is currently zoned R-1 and R-5, there’s a pending zone change of the entire site to R-1, a medium-density residential zone. Allowed uses include condominiums, apartments, duplexes, townhouses, and row homes. We’ll be watching what happens next.

Nature in the city
A quick note for NextDoor posters that post (which seems like every week) that they SPOTTED A COYOTE ON OUR STREET HOW DID IT GET HERE THIS IS A GOOD NEIGHBORHOOD: those coyotes aren't going anywhere (and were probably there first). In fact, they might be trotting around your backyard even more while you sleep.

According to new research, human activity is forcing mammals to become more active during the night—because humans are disrupting them. Night noises just got more interesting. 

So long, Lotus Cafe; New brewery & drinking map in Central Eastside; Overland Warehouse retrofit

The Lotus is no more
Avert your eyes if you don't want to see the destruction of The Lotus. The Oregonian reported that it originally opened in 1906 (!!) at the corner of Southwest Third Avenue and Salmon Street as the Hotel Albion. The building was known for the Lotus Café and Cardroom from 1924. It continued as a hopping nightspot until its closure in 2016. YouTuber Steve the Historian hustled down there and shot some video: 

Mt. Hood Brewing opens its Central Eastside location this weekend
Snuggled at the foot of the Tilikum Bridge at a former TriMet transfer station (now called Bruun Dock Studios) we think the location will work for them. Even if they only got commuters hopping off the Orange Line for a quick pint and a pizza they'll rock it. Another win for Central Eastside. 

Speaking of the Central Eastside (and booze)
The folks at Conveyor have put together a micro-site of the history of the Central Eastside as well as a map of places to grab a drink. You can walk, hike, even bike it. (If you drive it, you won't find parking. And if you're drinking you shouldn't be driving. Wags finger.) If you're old school like me, look for hard copies of the map at selected establishments.

Adaptive reuse of the week: Overland Warehouse
Originally built as a warehouse in 1889, Overland Warehouse has served as temporary housing for immigrant families, a neighborhood market, and a nightclub over the years.

In 2016, UD+P completed a full renovation that preserved and restored its historic structural elements while adding modern features that are needed for today’s creative office tenants. Unique among older brick buildings in downtown Portland, Overland features a stunning atrium built into the third floor that brings light down to the center of the building.

As part of the renovation, the building underwent a complete seismic retrofit.

And, just last month Restore Oregon presented the Overland Warehouse design and development team with a 2018 DeMuro Award.

 

 

 

Indoor skatepark coming to Milwaukie?

It appears so.

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From their website

We are very excited to announce that after a very long search with many ups and downs we have found a space and signed a lease in Milwaukie just outside of SE Portland! At over 5000 sq feet with a party room in the back, its the perfect space for a new indoor park and we can't wait to see you there!

They'll be doing a pre-sale to help fund the building of the park, with the opportunity to buy sessions and memberships at a deep discount. Looks like they're opening at Wichita Town Center on King next to Urban Warrior. 

Stronger Skatepark says it will "provide a safe and clean space for people of all ages and abilities to engage in skateboarding and the local community." They'll also offer open skate times, camps, lessons, parties and other events.

Cool. Check out their website for more info. 

12 Portland skyscrapers that changed Portland; Small-scale manufacturing in Central Eastside; Booming South Downtown Milwaukie

The word skyscraper might be a stretch, regardless, this piece goes deep (or is that high?) on 12 Portland skyscrapers that changed the city for good (and bad).  I don't normally recommend reading the comments from OregonLive but there's a lively discussion on buildings missed (of course there's the old-timer lamenting how much downtown has changed since—fill in blank of the decade when they peaked/moved here). Great pics throughout, too. I love it when the Oregonian dives into its pic morgue. And for the record, where's the Weatherly

Portland Small-Scale Manufacturing
White papers don't exactly instill a sense of excitement but this one is pretty fascinating. It's called The State of Urban Manufacturing Portland City Snapshot. Stay with me. 

In a nutshell, the white paper helps to try and understand what the small-batch manufacturing sector looks like, who its "entrepreneurs and employees are, and what cities can do to help these firms thrive and grow into larger jobs generators, and retain them within the urban core." 

One of the cities that the The Urban Manufacturing Alliance profiled is Portland. And one of the key takeaways I got (and, sure, I'm cherry-picking) is that manufacturing job growth between 2010 and 2016 was most evident in the Central Eastside district, where it increased by 30 percent. I'm intrigued by small-scale manufacturing and how individuals and companies are making stuff, not outside of cities, but right in the middle in places like the Central Eastside

The downside? 

Affordable space represents the most urgent challenge facing manufacturers in Portland today, especially smaller, fast-growing companies that prefer to accommodate their expansions within city limits.

Milwaukie has a lot going in South Downtown
And, they've got a new website to prove it. South Downtown wasn't even a thing like 5 years ago. And now? Here's some of what's going to be completed (whoa?) by 2019-2020. 

  • Axletree apartments, a new five-story, mixed-use development.
  • Kronberg Park Multi-Use Walkway
  • Coho Point at Kellogg Creek, an opportunity site for a 5-story mixed-use building.
  • A new high school 
  • A new space for the Milwaukie Farmer's Market

That's just some of the projects.

 The future site of Coho Landing in South Downtown Milwaukie. The current building will be demolished.  Source. 

The future site of Coho Landing in South Downtown Milwaukie. The current building will be demolished. Source. 

Small-scale on Division
Took a stroll down Division in today (as I do every couple of years) and was— as usual—blown away by the changes. I like that these kind of workhouse buildings (see pic) are still around. Two-story, retail on bottom, housing on top. Could this even get built anymore? Does code even allow that? 

 Small-scale still exists along Division (surrounded by new construction). 

Small-scale still exists along Division (surrounded by new construction).