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Jim Heuer

Your remarks are very much appreciated. This project does warrant a full public discussion, and your presentation of the issues is quite fair. However, you did miss one important point: the Irvington Community Association is NOT opposed to increased density on the south edge of the neighborhood along Broadway and Weidler. In fact, just recently the ICA Land Use Committee recommended City approval for a 3-story condo project for the SE corner of 17th and Schuyler -- a far superior design compared to the Squire project and one much more appropriate to its site.

Further you might have mentioned that the large scale structures to the west of 15th, which you cited, are public housing projects erected on their sites well before the City was forced to recognize the historic and community value of Irvington's vintage homes... They cannot and must not be cited as a direction for the future but as a lesson in bad planning from the past. And as out of character with the neighborhood as they are, they have a far less overbearing footprint on their sites than the proposed Irvington Squire project would have.

It is imperative that Portland come up with a solution to the problem of increasing density without sacrificing the great historic neighborhoods which give the City its character and which help create the ambiance which is drawing those thousands of new residents. A short drive along Broadway will show how much opportunity there is for increased density along Broadway and Weidler between the Rose Quarter and 15th Ave. without damage to a single historic property, if only the City can figure out how to make it happen.


Some readers may not know that the Irvington neighborhood was also home to "Irvington Track," a large horse-racing facility (bicycle races occurred there occasionally as well) bounded approximately by Brazee, Klickitat, 14th & Union/MLK (I've seen a larger footprint on another map). I can't help but wonder if the origins of "vintage" Irvington were more heterogeneous & rollicking than we might suppose!


I lived 8 years in an apartment 1 block south of this intersection and measured the low-income building that currently occupies the site. Several years ago the Lion & Rose attempted & failed to convert itself to condos (by floor) at $1,000,000 apiece.

From the image you present the building looks too large and aggressive for the neighborhood. A walk through the area would reveal a number of higher density buildings which have been more thoughtfully designed, with green spaces and courtyards that 'give away' some of the money-making density this building is designed to achieve. The 3-story building on the SE corner of the same block has several open areas fronting the street.

It is clear that higher density, when controlled, can enrich the fabric of the residential community. But the work has to speak to the language that exists in the area, not merely stylistically but with a clear understanding of the urban planning that has preceded it.

Jim H. makes a very good point.


i wonder what joslin and the landmarks commission thinks of this:

"Further it was suggested that if a modern building had to be constructed next to the Queen Anne Styled Freiwald House, it should be minimally ornamented to provide an unobtrusive backdrop to the ornate historic structure."

i agree, but i bet they don't.

at any rate, i would urge all neighborhood land use committees to thoroughly review their zoning and understand what is going to happen in the future. that's what developers do. it's the rule book, people. you can change the rules, but it takes time and money. being proactive will be in your best interest in the long run.

personally i think this building is a obnoxious and is not going to sit well next to its neighbors, but the law does not account for taste (except for joslin, of course).

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