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Aw cmon Jeffie. . . let apple take a bite out of PDX will ya?

Randy Leonard

I have been inquiring of Jeff Joslin and others relative to the approach taken by the Historic Landmarks Commission on not only Apple project but others as well.

I am concerned that the criteria used by the Historic Landmarks Commission is not only subjective but also a moving target as well.

We all certainly want the best and highest design possible in projects developed within Portland. However, I also want to make sure that there is a reasonable degree of predictability and fairness when projects are brought to the city for review and approval.

I want Apple to reconsider the NW 23rd site and will work to attempt to find a resolution for them.

I appreciate the insights this site provides.



While I generally agree with your point of view on this issue, I think there are a couple of holes in your argument.

First, when you say that "there are plenty of structures on 23rd already that aren't really the least bit historically significant", I think that is somewhat disengenuous, unless you are referring specifically to recently constructed buildings that went through the same review process.

Second, when you say that "Apple is the world's leader when it comes to corporations with an ingrained sense of design acumen", I think it's wrong to assume that this design acumen extends everywhere, beyond the products that it produces en masse.

That being said, I'm hopeful that the two parties can work this out, and I'm also hopeful that 23rd can maintain a nice blend of locally owned shops and hip national chains.


Since Mr. Leonard has felt compelled to weigh in on the Apple store issue, I wonder if he would also take a look at the situation with the Rosefriend Apartments? Of course that would mean lending credence to preserving historic buildings in this city and state, something that for the most part (except briefly in 2004)has been ignored by City Council and the Oregon Legislature.

Growth & development are fine but blindly seeking growth without regard to the social and cultural costs to our communities does nothing but drive away long-time residents, low & fixed-income earners, families, etc...

Some things simply cannot be replaced. The Portland Landmarks Commission is one of the few, if not the only local body, with any authority to help preserve elements of our city that have been deemed of historic or cultural value.

Neighborhood associations have been essentially stripped of power - oh yes they get lots of land-use notices - but their comments seem to go often unheard as the BDS - as development advocate for the city - seems to be rubber stamping most projects.

Those who want to preserve our city's past have no advocate working to ensure success, with the Landmarks Commission fulfilling as close to that role as possible. However, even they can't help if a building, like the Rosefriend is endangered yet not on any list of protected properties.

So, as it stands it appears not only is there a move to weaken historic districts but also to ignore the fate of non-designated historic buildings in Portland.

Maybe while "inquiring" how the Landmarks Commission performs its work, we can do the same for the BDS as a whole, and also figure out how to give some authority to those interested in preserving our historic resources and acknowlede that there are buildings that need protection but remain exposed to pro-development forces in the city.

By the way, the Landmarks Commission was recently instrumental in getting developers and neighbors to work togethere to re-design the Mississippi Avenue Lofts in order to better fit into that historic district. This should serve as a great example of the work the Commission performs.

Randy Leonard

I am looking into the issues re the Rosefriend Apts.

I am concerned about preserving historic buildings (something, by the way, I advocated in the legislature as well).

I will make sure I keep Brian Libby current with what I find so as to be able to update the readers of his blog.

Steve Stofiel

There are a total of 3 Apple stores in the Portland metropolitan area (All on the west side). I would love to see one go in on the east side. How about the expansion at clackamas town center?

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