The Portland Development Commission is looking at developing a ‘gateway site’ on MLK that will announce entry into the neighborhood, and ‘heritage markers’ to be placed along the boulevard itself. From the PDC website:
PDC and PDOT would like to begin to work with the community to develop a Concept Master Plan for the redevelopment of the gateway site into Portland’s inner northeast neighborhoods and for a series of heritage markers along NE Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. This project aims to fulfill the goals of the Albina Community Plan and other community plans to enhance the identity of the inner northeast neighborhoods.
The Albina Community Plan (1993), Eliot Neighborhood Plan (1993), Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. Transportation Project (1998), and Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. Action Plan (2006) call for the identification of a gateway at the intersection of NE Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. and NE Grand commemorating Dr. King. These documents suggest that a gateway should also enhance the pedestrian environment, incorporate multicultural public art, and announce the entrance to a historic area of Portland.
The PDC webpage also asks for public suggestions and comment on what the gateway site might look like, and on the heritage markers. Also on that page are links to proposed designs for the gateway site and heritage markers, linked as PDF files. The designs look nifty, particularly the ‘story benches.’ It will be very interesting to see what the city intends to do with the curvy stretch of Grand between Hancock and Schuyler, the block that ‘announces’ you are entering inner Northeast.
For my part, I’m going to try to obtain copies of the action plans mentioned above.