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Yes, lets be careful in calling it a celebration just yet. However, I also would commend Adams and the council for potentially creating a much better solution.


Yay! It appears that people were being listened to!


A related issue: from our neighbors in the Overlook neighborhood, we read this:

Interstate Corridor Urban Renewal Advisory Committee will meet on Monday, April 20 (THAT'S TONIGHT), from 6:00-8:30 at Kaiser Town Hall. Mayor Sam Adams is scheduled to speak at 7:30 about the proposed Rose From the Overlook Views E-Newsletter--Quarter development and how ICURA could help fund it. There will be opportunity for public comments at 6:15 and 8:00. This development process is speeding along and it's critical that the public weigh in, especially the people who live in the Interstate Corridor. This would be the third time that North and Northeast Portlanders have funded city and regional projects (i.e., the Interstate Light Rail Line and New Columbia). There are many important projects throughout the Interstate Urban Renewal Area that need to be completed; helping to pay for the Rose Quarter development would divert necessary monies away from North and Northeast neighborhoods. Come and participate!

Stuart Emmons

Brian, you are a hero.
Now that we have stopped the demolition of Memorial Coliseum, we still need to be engaged. The siting of the baseball stadium cannot muck up the integrity of the Coliseum or Rose Quarter as a whole. We are still missing a Portland process in the Rose Quarter to bring on a plan that is right for the area and is supported by the community and knowlegeable groups. And, the repurposing of Memorial Coliseum by Cordish makes me very very nervous. So, a good step today, but we have a long way to go.

Douglas K.

Thank you, Brian, for your efforts in bringing public attention to this issue. You provided a large measure of the leadership and focus that made this possible.

I'm interested in seeing where the Stadium winds up now. Maybe to the north of the Coliseum, bordering Broadway and Interstate? They'd have to shift the traffic patterns -- close Larrabee and run Winning Way right along the north edge of the Coliseum, but I bet that would leave enough space for a small stadium.


Brian: Congratulations on a "good start". Don't let your guard down for a minute. Now the real battle begins. You may find that "saving" the Coliseum is a fate worse than the wrecking ball. Strip off the glass box to create "an open air venue" (anybody been to the Clark County Amphitheater?) and surround it with chain restaurants? A preservation project that respects the original design intent? I think not. A project that Portlanders will embrace? I think not. An additional week to develop this is enough time for good design, public input and a reasoned City Council decision? I think not. Its really critical that the process going forward be very transparent. And why can't we take the time to do this right?


Thank you Brian for leading the charge. It appears it may be paying off.

This is a much bigger,costlier, and an even more complex proposal that will probably receive many negative comments:

What about moving OMSI to Memorial Coliseum?

There have been recent very successful renovated Science centers in NY and SF, both designed by innovative architects (Polshek and Piano respectively). Demolishing the existing OMSI for the new Beavers stadium would be something I would support.

These are just my two cents, but the speed at which this MLS and Beavers deal is progressing, we may be missing a much larger, more innovative, more Portland solution.


I concur with Porker. Just read the fine print. This is a one way conversation with the Blazers and Merritt Paulson telling the city what they "have to have". The public is not part of this conversation (other than that joke of a public meeting last week) and past experience would lead one to believe that leaving the public largely out of the decision-making will be a mistake for the project and the political leaders that push it through. And since when does the Mayor get to take the place of the landmarks, design review and planning commissions. Shouldn't these groups have a say?

Dustin Posner

I second the comments of Stuart Emmons, Porker and Dogwalker. I am not yet convinced that Memorial Coliseum will be saved in a meaningful manner that respects the building. More importantly, I'm still very wary of cramming all these functions onto the site without a larger, more transparent planning process. Still feels like Paulson and company are too much in control. They win, Portland urban planning loses.


well, when measured on google earth, there is the same amount of land just north of the MC that would also fit a AAA team, though it would just be for minor league because it wouldnt be able to be expanded to a major league stadium at that location.

The things I am interested in with this, if this is the location, is one, the city really needs to work out a new deal with Allen that makes both the Rose Garden and the MC to work together, rather than against each other in the current deal that is going on, there is no excuse the MC cant be used to its full potential.

Any serious changes to the interior of the MC, like removing the bowl or removing the glass of the box is just as bad as tearing down a building...it is like saving a favorite restaurant by replacing it with an olive garden.

Also another thing I am interested in is going to be the architecture for the ballpark, if it has the typical arrangement, it will face northeast, which will mean the main structure will curve up next to the MC and create a pedestrian walk way between the two structures. It would be interesting to see this handled very respectfully in the architecture.

Joseph Readdy

There are three primary ways in which this agreement is failing There are three ways that the Rose Quarter planning for minor league baseball has been failing us:


To date the process has been driven solely by the need to meet the terms of agreement of Major League Soccer that PGE Park to be ready for exclusive use for soccer for the 2011 soccer season. The proposed relocation of the Portland Beavers baseball franchise is a function of MLS demand for a soccer/ football stadium.

The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability had to conduct a “design charrette” with out adequate time to prepare, adequate time to conduct such a charrette, adequate information (e.g. a 96-inch sewer line was identified four days after charrette took place), or adequate participation by all stakeholders (the Eliot Neighborhood Associaton or the Portland Winterhawks). The charrette study boundary was artificially limited to the isolated island of the Rose Quarter and did nothing to address the larger, persistent problems of the district or some of its alternative development opportunity sites. Conditions for identifying or measuring the success of the design charrette were unclear from the beginning. Criteria for evaluating or measuring a successful design proposal were not established a priori, but rather have been made up ad hoc as the charrette progressed.

Statements that identify previous Rose Quarter planning studies as pretexts for elimination of the need for current planning are misleading at best.

Repairing the Rose Quarter

Any new investment in this district should serve as a deliberate act of urban repair that serves to heal the district. Previous urban design plans and recent construction projects have only made the original urban redevelopment plans from sixty-years ago less vibrant, less diverse, and less successful.

Once a vibrant neighborhood, occupying a unique gateway location at the top of the Broadway Bridge, any redevelopment of the Rose Quarter should address the critical need to tame auto-dominated quality of the streets; increase diversity of use; and establish a more vibrant, twenty-four hour/ seven day a week community.

Nothing in the current plan comes close to making Broadway the gateway to Old Town/ China Town and the Pearl District – or the gateway from downtown to North and Northeast Portland. Indeed, one of the proposed plans for Rose Quarter redevelopment eliminates Drexler Drive – the exclusive service access point to the Memorial Coliseum and Rose Garden. This plan fails to demonstrate how such access could reasonably be replaced. Ignoring fundamental functional issues like delivery access or trash and recycling pick-up –even at this preliminary level of development proposal– does not reflect well on the quality of the proposed solutions.

Adding streetcar stops doesn’t make a measurable difference in the quality of the urban environment.

Memorial Coliseum

Others have testified and will testify to the historical significance of the Memorial Coliseum. It is easily the most architecturally significant and best-designed piece of architecture in the Rose Quarter.

The utility of Memorial Coliseum has not yet been established. So far we have been measuring its success or failure by the number of events, the quality of events, the flexibility of the structure to accommodate changing tastes in entertainment, or costs of deferred maintenance. No calculations about the value of Memorial Coliseum should be considered complete without including a calculation of the embodied energy represented by construction of Memorial Coliseum. It is an investment that we should carefully consider before making any decision to tear it down.

There is no way to achieve an “eco-district” in the future if we ignore the current conditions and value or past investment.

Now that we have the Mayor's promise to save and "repurpose" the Memorial Coliseum, we still have a lot of work to do if we are to create a fully-functioning, vibrant urban district within the City.


Yesterday evening was gorgeous...ideal for watching attending a baseball game.

Last night's attendance for the Beavers game was 1,981. How is spending $50 mil on a new stadium going to put 6,000 more people in the seats per game?


Any news on the Interstate Corridor Urban Renewal Advisory Committee meeting last night? It seems unfair to have N/NE Portland residents footing the bill for the Rose Quarter Development.


This will also be good for the success of the Rose Quarter as a whole. It will offer three venues instead of only two- with more nights of crowds flowing through the area.

And with three venues the Rose Quarter will be in a unique position to host sports- and music-palooza type events. That new convention center hotel may just come in handy.

Laurence Qamar

I really appreciate the broadening of the discussion that Joseph Readdy introduced under "Repairing the Rose Quarter". We, the City of Portland", should use this opportunity to catalyze the resurgence of this key entertainment district that sits at one of the more critical crossroads near the heart of Portland.

Other than the occasional surges of crowds attending events, the Rose Quarter lacks life and daily vitality. It's currently a mono-functional district dominated by large single use mega structures, parking lots, parking garages, arterial roads, and empty plazas. It's not unlike a suburban office park, or shopping mall.

Meanwhile, the district has close proximity and connections over the two river bridges to downtown, Chinatown, the future Post Office redevelopment site, and one of the few locations on the Eastside without I-5 creating a barrier to the river (although other barriers do exist there). While I-5 is something of a barrier to the east, the district also connects to the Broadway/Weidler corridor, and Lloyd District.

Yes, this could become a 24/7 mixed-use district with people living, working and shopping in addition to attending sports, music, and other special events. Transform the arterials into vibrant main streets lined with on-street parking, wide sidewalks and retail. Wrap the behemoth buildings with retail/housing liner buildings.

Building a new stadium should always be seen in the larger context of building, repairing, and revitalizing the city and its districts as a whole.


Why not put the proposed East Side Community Center (PPR) in this building instead of on Stark Street where parking is going to be an issue with the neighbors anyway?

Bob Gaulke

Dear Brian,

I realize mentioning a blog by a newspaper is just too much of a scary thing to do, but I just wanted to give you my thanks for your outstanding blog and recent effort on behalf of the Memorial Coliseum.

Your Fan,

Bob G

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