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ws

No one seems to be commenting on this, but I feel it's important for somebody else to give PSU students credit for their interest and initiative in working to conserve great period architecture.

For myself, I would hope the Morris Marks house doesn't have to move too far away. For many, many years, I've enjoyed its presence in the neighborhood, and believe it adds immeasurably to the character and charm of the neighborhood. I suppose it's too much to hope the PSU campus would host another historic house in addition to the Benson residence, but that would seem to be a great place for it.

I've heard Goose Hollow suggested as a possible future home for it. Other possible ideas would be great to have.

Will

It'd be best if a way could be found to keep the house where it is. As a remnant of a long-gone past when the West End was full of Victorian houses, it is a wonderful touch stone to the past that contributes to those moments of discovery of the unexpected that makes being in urban places with layers of history so interesting. So much would be lost if it is moved from its original site, and the West End will become that much less interesting if it becomes nothing but new buildings.

ws

Will, nice thought, but just think of the money people stand to make if that lot is available to build on.(the house south of the M Mark has to go too). With so many condo's having been built recently, maybe that kind of pressure has let up some, but it's growth will likely resume at some point.

Even justification for the presence of the older, relatively low level apartment building to the north of the M Mark house will probably be questioned at some point in time, given the largely market favored value system used to determine the future of many buildings.

Ryan Cloutier

I'm part of PSU Preservation Club, and for anyone interested there are pictures of the inside of Morris Marks House here:

http://s160.photobucket.com/albums/t169/ryancloutier/

Obviously the building needs extensive restoration. It served as a boarding house for the last several years. Each room features a kitchenette, and various architectual embellishments. We'll continue working to find a new home (or retain it's present location???) for this historic house. Spread the word...

val

Ryan, awesome pictures - the fireplace is amazing as are all of those little exterior details. Some people might be put off by the amount of work needed but remember how bad the Benson House was? It can and should be restored (whether moved or not). I attended a discussion on this house a few months ago at the AHC at which time Clem Ogilby mentioned they were looking at a city-owned triangular lot near where SW 6th/Broadway/I-405 meet. Has there been any further mention of this?
Also, I notice that in the discussion of the house and the property owners there has yet to be any mention of the adjacent apartment building. My guess is since they are part of the same tax lot the apartment bldg. would be taken down for any future project as well, meaning yet another aprtment could be lost in the city center. Now, its no Rosefriend, but it is still a usable and much needed building with likely reasonable rents.

Historic Preservation = Recycling
Its not just about the past but our future too.

ws

Hey, lots of helpful photos Ryan. If your PSU club keeps minutes, maybe you could post them somwhere they could be accessible, or, just provide a brief summary.

I figure the main challenge with such a house is location and promoting interest in putting sweat equity into the future it could have. That it's a fine architectural example is a given. That a location and a worthy future can be found for it is the big question.

This house doesn't have the historic celebrity cache of the PSU Benson residence, so it has to generate interest and support for its rejuvenation on the strength of its extrardinary architecture and the service it can provide Portland into the future.

I'd still like to think somewhere on the PSU campus might work...possibly replacing some of the old residential houses still used there for departments, that aren't quite so architecturally significant.

In the parking lot east of the Old Church would be a natural if it weren't high dollar condo country.

val

This house would be a good candidate for a partnership between PSU & the U of O. PSU could find the land and the U of O school of architecture could make the restoration of the house a "field school" for their historic preservation program.

Seems feasible to me.

bobby

yep, if this building goes somewhere else, both the doricourt apartments AND the restored victorian to the south would be in trouble. just think, what is anybody gonna do with that teeny little lot? what is the motivation of the owner for wanting to move it?

ws

It's a touchy situation. Property in the area is potentially worth millions if it can be given over to future new condos, point towers and so on. The property owner of the Morris Mark house seems as though he's at least trying to be some kind of good guy by supporting a move rather than outright demolishing it for the sake of expediency.

Many people feel bound to adhere to the dictate of the market. There seems to be quite a lack of people that are disinclined to address issues of vintage architectural infrastructure in ways other than obliterating it in one way or another in order to replace it with new architectural infrastructure that can more readily benefit from the market.

I like all three buildings (Doricort, Morris Mark, house next door)just where they are, but it would be reasonable for them to depart if any new building were truly something architecturally and aesthetically superior to the vintage buildings.

val

This thread provides a good opportunity for all to consider the connection between historic preservation and sustainability.

In the latest Preservation Magazine from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, there is a very timely and Portland-relevant message from President Richard Moe I thought I should share with the community. As his "President's Note" isn't on the National Trust website, I'll quote you some of his message.

"At a time of increasing concern about such issues as climate change and the depletion of natural resources, we must work hard to strengthen and publicize the connections between preservation and sustainable development."

"preservation is, as has often been said, "the ultimate recycling.""

"reusing an existing building, instead of demolishing it and replacing it with a new one, is one good way to conserve energy."

"preservation is good for the environment...the greenest building is one that already exists."

Since May is Preservation month, I hope we all take these words to heart and make the important and very real connection between sustainability and historic preservation.

Michelle

I never knew what the old house across the street was called until they recently put up a banner over the porch. And in searching for it online I came across this post. That folio of Ryan Cloutier is brilliant. I've always wondered what it looked inside. And I definitely come down on the "please don't move it!" side, even as I know that is highly unlikely. It provides this housebound girl so much scope for the imagination.

I did want to make one little correction. The house is not between Jefferson and Market but Jefferson and *Main*. Market is a bit too far to the south.

Thanks again for a great post.

John Legry

I lived across the street from the Morris Marks House in the early '80's; and, it became the subject of a number of drawings and paintings, some of which are featured here:

TheAttic Gallery

Son of Technicolor

Tenth Avenue Electric

Morris Marks House

John Legry

Corrections for broken links above. jl

Son of Technicolor

Tenth Avenue Electric

John Legry

Corrections for broken links above. jl

Son of Technicolor

Tenth Avenue Electric

Maria

Is this subject dead? I walked by the house today, noted the (defunct) website...checked it twice...can find no real listing. What is the status of this project?

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