The South Waterfront, with three 325-foot-tall buildings, is the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability’s model for the North Pearl. Photo by Suzanne Crowhurst Lennard

The South Waterfront, with three 325-foot-tall buildings, is the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability’s model for the North Pearl. Photo by Suzanne Crowhurst Lennard

Some call it vertical sprawl

Portland planners promote taller buildings as the antidote to urban sprawl, but high-rises also undermine livability. 

Allan Classen

New development in the Pearl, Goose Hollow and West End is increasingly trending towards high-rise apartments and condos. While many residents want increased density in these downtown neighborhoods, they are concerned about the effects of new tall towers on livability. Yet the Bureau of Planning and

Sustainability seems intent on facilitating skyscraper development in these areas, as they have in the South Waterfront.

Over the last year, BPS has been presenting drafts of the West Quadrant Plan to the Stakeholders Advisory Committee. The issue that has raised the greatest discussion, particularly from members of the public, has been building heights.

High-rises around corner ▶

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Dining on 23rd Avenue—literally

Lompoc looks to street to recover charm of its former backyard patio.

Allan Classen

Lompoc Brewing’s popular sidewalk seating will soon by augmented by a patio in the parking lane. Photo by Vadim Makoyed

Lompoc Brewing’s popular sidewalk seating will soon by augmented by a patio in the parking lane. Photo by Vadim Makoyed

Portland’s experiment in converting curbside parking into sidewalk cafés is evolving.


The most creative local example will unfold later this summer at Lompoc, 1620 NW 23rd Ave., where owner Jerry Fechter is doing his best to recreate the hopvine-covered backyard he had before his old building was replaced with an all-new structure last year. The new Lompoc has no backyard so his only option was to look outward.


Architect Steven Ewoldt designed a 32-foot-long patio that goes far beyond mere picnic tables and chairs. Hopvines will climb from planters at either end, vertical natural wood planks of contrasting hues will lend some architectural interest and there will be a community space in one corner with benches and ▶

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nwexaminer-august-2014-issue
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INSIDE:

Vertical Sprawl. Street Seatings. St. Patrick's Church history. Feeding the multitudes. Water tower graffiti... etc.
And More

Serving the 99 percent

Allan Classen

A city hearings officer took the developers’ side on the proposed Multnomah Athletic Club parking garage and apartment building. Hearings Officer Ken Helm recommended amending the comprehensive plan to legalize commercial parking in what is now a residential zone.

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