The Portland Development Commission will be holding an open house this Thursday eve, May 28, at the Goodbuild showroom to present three design options for the Gateway and Heritage Markers.
The proposals include plans for transforming the ‘gateway’ into N/NE Portland, where MLK and Grand merge, as well as ‘Heritage Markers’ that will line the boulevard. The Heritage Markers are expected to include markers that provide directions and information for pedestrians on the boulevard, as well as historical images that are viewable by folks driving by.
The PDC’s Gateway and Heritage Markers Concept Master Plan (September 2008) describes the “primary functions” of the markers as:
The creation of a clear ‘threshold,’ announcing arrival to a unique district of Portland and the emphasis of this distinct character along the boulevard
The preservation, interpretation, and celebration of a broad and inclusive history of the area’s cultural communities.
The PDC hopes to transform the Gateway Site into a unique block with striking sculpture and pedestrian-friendly space, while the Heritage Markers are intended to provide historical background and information about the area.
The Gateway Site as it looks now, heading north on Grand to where it merges with MLK Boulevard:
Goodbuild is at 2106 NE MLK; the open house will be from 5 to 7 pm.
Broadway Toyota has moved its sales lots off the boulevard, leaving empty the two parcels of land abutting Broadway Street:
A few months ago, Broadway Toyota left the building at 2111 NE MLK, whose parking lot was turned into an impromptu skatepark for a time today:
The sign above notes that 2111 has a new tenant. Broadway Toyota still has a toehold on the boulevard, utilizing this unmarked building at 2005 NE MLK for servicing autos, and its back lot for storing cars:
The revitalization of MLK Boulevard between Fremont and Alberta Streets continues, as Jake and Brandon have opened Moment of Truth Tattoo at 3821 NE MLK, in a newly-rehabbed storefront:
Moment of Truth will have its grand opening on the last Thursday in June, with a party to celebrate.
The building at 3821-27 MLK has been standing since 1922, and among other businesses, has held the Union Avenue Novelty Shop; Mister Charr’s (a “place of amusement,” according to the 1982 Polk city directory for Portland, and Sweetarts Incorporated, makers of candied fruits. Moment of Truth now shares the building with Champions Barbershop.
The second of two buildings (on the stretch of the boulevard this blogs covers) on the National Registry of Historic Places, the Jensen Investment Company Building now houses Bardy Trophy at 2500-2522 NE MLK:
The building was erected in 1930 and originally housed Van De Kamp’s Holland Dutch Bakery, which sold numerous kinds of coffee cake. The platform atop the building held a windmill (presumably to signal that Dutch bakery items were sold there), but it fell off at some point, possibly in a storm. Stop into Goldrush Coffee Shop across the street for early photos of the building.
Go here to read about the fight to save the Los Angeles building that housed the Van De Kamp headquarters.
This Thursday, KBOO radio host Jamilah Bourdon airs a program of interviews she did with folks who work in barbershops in the Albina area. She stopped by a number of shops to chat, including barbers at Champions and Reggie’s on MLK. You can check out her show (called Guess Who’s Coming to Radio??!!) on the radio, or online, this Thursday May 28th, from 8 to 10 pm. It will be interesting to hear how these folks describe their reactions to the changes underway in the greater Albina neighborhood.