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The City's website says the hearing is May 7th at 3pm - time certain, which is Cityspeak for no discussion on the matter prior to 3pm.
See upcoming council agendas here: http://www.portlandonline.com/auditor/index.cfm?c=26998


the Terminal 1 site? Is that something you added to your article Brian or is that a site actually being mentioned by the city?

Also where exactly is that site?


When do we get to see what Paulson plans to do to PGE park? This might be the next battle. I heard he plans to eliminate the fence on 18th to block the views into the stadium.


Putting the "entertainment area" on the river would help it succeed in being more lively. If done right, many people would visit just for the river-city views.


My preservation efforts extend to all Portland public lands, so I am prepared for a long slog.


i have to admit i didn't really know what all the hype about this building was as i've only been in portland for a year or so. seeing this interior shot with all the natural light pouring in + the fact that the roof is floating off those four (seemingly undersized) piers really puts it all in perspective. totally worth saving. nice effort for all involved to defend this jewel. i hope they save all the original interior signage too. totally classic.


Too bad those grain silos by the Rose Garden can't be converted into a hotel/restaurant/bar. Or make it mixed-use... grain on the lower levels, hotel on the upper. ;) The views from there would be nice (in all directions), and it would become less of a wall between the Rose Quarter and the downtown.

It seems the Blazers could increase their chances of success with the Live! effort (and success of the Live! effort could also increase game attendance) if they would allow the MC to make a profit. The original purpose of the no-profit contract may have been to help ensure the success of the Rose Garden, but with our current and future population increases we may/will have enough people to have both succeed.

Putting the ballpark as near as possible to the Rose Quarter seems like the best proposition for the success of both the Live! project and the Rose Quarter as whole- synergy.

And thanks for putting up these older images of the MC. Clean simple lines, arranged imaginatively, is timeless. It still seems modern today, and must have seemed absolutely futuristic in 1960 (the same year I was born).


When do we get to see what Paulson plans to do to PGE park? This might be the next battle. I heard he plans to eliminate the fence on 18th to block the views into the stadium.

there's only been one drawing made... a watercolor sketch unveiled at the original press conference announcing the MLS bid.


i've never heard of 18th ave being covered... timbers fans have always heard that paulson wouldn't cover it up, as it serves as a good advertisement for the team.

kenny Bauer

Was there ever an event held using the natural light? Every event, Blazers, Concerts, or Circus that i attended had that awful curtain up.


nice effort in saving MC.

however... i'm still really worried about this whole Live! thing. while you focus on this one, very worthy tree, Brian, it seems that you are losing sight of the very troubling forest that is threatening to surround it. worse, it seems that you're on board with making Live! a reality. you mention that Live! might be nice along the river. really? what about what that will do to the view from the westside? i mean, who really wants to look at that? isn't the view of I-5 bad enough?

Live! will be a design NIGHTMARE. you can bet every dime you've got on that one. and it will surely have a slough of problems that go far beyond the aesthetic (racist dress codes, anyone?). this seems too obvious to warrant saying, but further privatization of the Rose Quarter area will not help to integrate it better into the city fabric. that's just common sense. and isn't better integration the goal?

i know the fight for MC is important to you, but you are running the risk of tunnel vision. you shouldn't be caving in so easily to the Live! proposal just because it might save MC. people deserve more than that obscene corporate garbage (just as MC deserves a decent contract with the city). if there are reasons that you think Live! should be accepted, please take the time to make your case, as i don't think you have done so yet. otherwise, will you please use your influence to fight Live! too?!

Brian Libby


That's a great point! I think we're in agreement here more than you may realize, or more than I may have made clear.

I absolutely positively agree that the Live! stuff seems awful and could be a huge mistake. And I intend in good time to make that more clear.

However, the siting of the baseball stadium is still a big issue, and it's not gauranteed at all that the City Council won't decide to approve a Coliseum demolition.

The fight against a Live! atrocity built by the Blazers and approved by the City of Portland is Step 2 in a two-step process: (1) Save Memorial Coliseum from demolition to make way for the stadium, and (2) Save Memorial Coliseum from being tainted by a terrible project inside or outside the building.

Perhaps you're right that I and the other Coliseum activists should be doing more to fight the Live! danger right now, but for the time being I at least feel it's best strategically to focus on stopping demolition and then fighting for the Coliseum's integrity.

Anybody else have an opinion on this? I ask not sarcastically but sincerely.

Dennis H. Coalwell

Keep up the good fight, Brian! I am sure you have read this piece but I thought I would share it with those readers who have yet had the opportunity:




Thanks for that response - it's good to hear that, as I thought you had expressed reservations about Live! in the past. I hope I have given you a little nudge - you were starting to sound like you were conceding, which I don't think you need to do to succeed at step 1, and might come back to hurt you when you get to step 2.

Thanks again!

Douglas K.

I agree - save the Coliseum first, then work on the area around it.

My own opinion on Live! is that I support the concept of the Coliseum and the Rose Garden as anchors in an entertainment district or even an entertainment campus. I think it would be great if the Rose Quarter was a 24 hour art, entertainment and restaurant destination. That said, I'd rather the district evolve in phases through local initiatives and public process, instead of following some huge expensive master plan imposed by an outside developer.

Just to list a couple of examples:

The Blazer office building at One Center Court could be converted into The Portland Aquarium, owned and operated by Portland Parks and Recreation. (My model is the Seattle Aquarium, which is in a recycled building owned and operated by Seattle Parks and Recreation). It could be self-sustaining and would draw daytime visitors on a year-round basis.

Derek Hanna's SMART Tower could be erected in Rose Quarter. That's a locally-created project that could be designed for the site, and would draw in potentially hundreds of people per day, especially in tourist season. (No idea how pay for it, though.)

The "Nike Sports Museum" has the potential to be a big day-time draw as well, assuming its interior is anything like a sports-themed version of Paul Allen's Experience Music Project.

I've also been playing around with a way to put an inexpensive city-owned Museum of Contemporary Art on the lower level of the Coliseum. Portland already has a large collection of fine art (curated by RACC), and a well-run art museum can bring in year-round foot traffic.

I also wonder it it's viable to put a public garden on the top of the Coliseum. How much weight can the roof hold?

A half-dozen daytime attractions would support a growing restaurant district in and around the Rose Quarter, and there's the entertainment and night life that Live! is supposed to bring.

I'm not married to any idea I suggested above. I was just brainstorming examples: the sort of thing that can be created and designed locally, in some cases through inexpensive adaptive re-use of what's already there. Evolve the Rose Quarter into a collection of destinations (arenas, popular museums, aquarium, iconic tower, garden), and we'll get the vibrant 24/7 district -- but the citizen of Portland version, not the Blazers/Cordish version.

I'm not sure how that would work in terms of stopping the Live! development, though. I think critics will have better luck shutting down Live! if there are a couple of good locally-driven alternatives that get to the same place (busy pedestrian-friendly entertainment district) by a different and hopefully less expensive route.


Wait, you are fighting to preserve the "historic" MC and then you flippantly suggest "Perhaps the riverfront facade could be opened up, or even a retractible roof installed." ??
Preserve means Preserve!

I am sure it would be a hell of a lot cheaper to do a tear down and put a new structure in with a retractable roof than it would be to do a retrofit which would most likely destroy all that you fought for here.


I have read a lot of these, never really cared to comment or state my opinion. But now what I am getting out of this is that most of the commentators on this site want to tell the Oregon Arena Corporation what is best for their project. I understand citizen feedback, but at the same time, America is a capitalist society, meaning that this business they run has to be run THEIR way. IT IS THEIR COMPANY. So why is everyone trying to tell them how to run their company and what is best, and how they should do things... Maybe you all should have been the ones to buy the Coliseum, or own the Blazers. It's quite annoying to see comments by a group, who argue for the sake of arguing.

Dennis H. Coalwell

↑ The Oregon Arena Corporation does not own the MC...it is owned by the city of Portland. I think most of the surface parking around MC is also owned by the city. The OAC wants to develop city owned property. I think it is fair for people to express their opinions and views.


Danny -

You should speak up more often. Our society is democratic, after all, not capitalist, as you state. Our ECONOMY is capitalist (although not purely), but that's a different matter entirely. There is no law in the U.S. that says a business 'has to be run' the owners' way. There are many laws to the contrary, however, mostly because of 'citizen feedback'.

But let's say you're right, for the sake of argument. Since you (as a Portland resident) own the MC, what would you like to have done with it?

Laurence Q

Brian, As others wrote, those historic MC photos, especially the interior, help to express the quality of interior light and sculptural strength of the building.

On another note, I am pleased to see the discussion expanding now to the larger question of the design of the Rose Quarter district on the whole, and the opportunities to reconnect it to the river front. I recall that idea being explored (I think by somehow bridging over Interstate) in a proposal by Urban Design Associates about 8 years ago. I haven't seen that proposal since, but recall they had some provocative ideas. Does anyone know where that proposal could be found? It may be on interest to your current discussion.


We have a highly successful model right here in River City for a way to develop the entertainment district that would work. Portland's airport is consistently rated one of the best in the country. Why? Because it is uniquely ours -- the retail and most of the foodservice are cherished Portland vendors who lend an air of authenticity ... a measure of pride for locals and a genuine interest in discovery of Portland quality for visitors. An "entertainment district" in the Rose Quarter area should strive for these qualities rather than being a rubber stamped franchise outlet that could be plopped down in any city in America.

Brian Libby

That's a great point, Jane. I've heard the same sentiment raised a time or two in certain meetings and online conversations during this process, but it's more than worth emphasizing.

The local aspect of the PDX airport is terrific and could be replicated I'm sure. Nike would be a connecting thread in both places, having a store in the Oregon Market at the airport and perhaps some sort of sports museum in the new Rose Quarter development. And luckily, all this can fit well with a renovated Memorial Coliseum that is retained for its original purpose as an arena.

The coliseum also includes a whopping 55,000 square feet of exhibit space underground, and I think that is a huge untapped resource that the developers may not fully appreciate. It's big enough to have hosted the Portland Auto Show numerous times in the past.

What if you brought daylight into this space--which also includes the veterans' memorial--with a lot more skylights or even taking the ground floor down another level? Lots of the space for the Blazers' planned "Live!" entertainment may already be there - or space for Doug Obletz's MARC amateur athletic complex too.

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