Demolition wave rising

Through heroic citizen action, several Northwest historic structures were saved in 2014. But two more single-family homes appear doomed by developers of apartment buildings, and the $665,000 purchase of a 2,300-square-foot vintage home as a tear-down has neighbors wondering if any house is safe.

Allan Classen

A citizen website tracking all demolition and development applications in the city was launched last October. Portlandchronicle.com posts maps of all such sites. It also publishes details from public records, adding photographs and drawings in many cases.

“In the past few years, Portland has experienced unprecedented development, and it shows no sign of slowing,” wrote the editor of Portland Chronicle, who asked not to be named. “In a simultaneous trend, demolitions of historic structures have also quickly increased. In 2013, between 200 and 300 single-family home demolitions occurred, which was scores higher than previous years. This trend was equally if not more alarming to neighborhood residents, who saw not only increased density … but also a loss of Portland history.”

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Culinary creativity sputters in Northwest

Eastside and Downtown restaurants produce the most interesting dishes in 2014.

Allan Classen

Maria Zamora (left) and Sarah Ruth Maier work in the Ataula kitchen behind a leg of pig. Photo by Julie Keefe

Maria Zamora (left) and Sarah Ruth Maier work in the Ataula kitchen behind a leg of pig. Photo by Julie Keefe

Traditions abound this time of year. They arise from our religious beliefs, cultural practices, winter solstice and the fortuitous turn of the calendar. We gather with friends and family to eat, drink, pray and celebrate. Above all, during this interval of too short days and cold, damp weather, most of us pause to reflect back on the year that’s gone by.

As I tap out this month’s column, it’s a few days before Christmas and New Year’s Eve. The best of 2014’s seasonal produce is long gone, and the first tokens of annual renewal—fiddleheads, rhubarb, nettles, and asparagus—are still months away.▶

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NW Examiner January 2015 issue
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INSIDE:

Block 7 developer told to first produce parking study. Page 10. Emergency demolition plan at Centennial Mills stuns neighbors. Page 15. The Mordaunt building set tone for early Portland apartment living. Page 14. Council rejects demolition of historic office building. Page 24. Food Front members demand answers of co-op leaders. Page 25.
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