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Eye Eyeball

Complete Bull......The architect keeps talking about older buildings as a design reference while demolishing a great old buildings that has ALL of The Characteristics sighted! Green Eco justification? Please if you work with what you have, you conserve and renew. Double win. But no, the giant architect ego will not allow this. Its got to be "my little creation" that I can shout about. Complete nonsense,pathetic blabber..... And for Brian, Come on, this building is significant vernacular that needs to be analyzed as a sum of the parts in that district. You start to lose the feeling of the older trees, buildings ie --cultural landscape of the "Parkscape. Old growth lumber, flooring...structural system all contribute to "feeling"
To Mrs Powell....Keep that Building!!! Best solution is to rehabilitate. You will keep your business ethic and design saavy

Brian Libby

Thanks for your comment, "Eye Eyeball". I completely understand your feelings about keeping the Powell's Technical Bookstore building, and I too feel at the very least conflicted about its demolition. However, I don't think Thomas Robinson's comments constitute blabber or nonsense at all. He's clearly one of the finest architects in town, and I think the new PNCA building would be quite compelling. It would be easier for all of us if Thomas or the proposed building were nonsense like you described. But it's more ambiguous than that. What's more, we can't save every building. I wish we could. We'll see what happens here, but I sympathize with your preservation concerns even as I see through some of your rhetoric.

Bill Badrick

The Designer and the Owner have a right to destroy buildings that are on their property. But seriously , the justifications are not working. There are two good examples of adaptive re-purposing within sight of this block , North Park Lofts and 725 Flanders. Both projects saved the original buildings facing the park , and created quite spectacular architecture above them. The character of the neighborhood can be positively modified while preserving the history.
The entire project vision by this designer , and the essence of the proposal can be carried out by placing the new design on top of , and integrated with the historic building.


As far as the "Green Eco justification" of saving the existing building, this is one of those cases where there MAY actually be more embodied energy in saving the building than just tearing it down and recycling the material.

Realistically we are just talking about saving the brick facade; The structure has to go to add stories and the storefront needs to be updated to conserve energy.

Holding that brick up is going to require a redundant system of shoring, reinforcing, steel backing, etc. that just adds redundancies and inefficiencies.

A simple storefront system as proposed could be much more efficeint and "Eco Green".

I am not certain, but those are aspects many preservationist overlook.

Eye Eyeball

Brian, If this was an empty lot then the designers words are justified and I can respect the project. However you have to critical look at his own words in the context of what exists now! It reads like a Robert Moses wetdream.
Quote: "You have these great existing buildings on the park blocks, these old brick warehouses. We asked, 'Why do people like these buildings?"
They love the buildings because they EXIST!!Pure Brave New World doublespeak. People love it but we must get rid of it so we can use our product.
Quote "While we know we can’t build low-bearing brick buildings with that authenticity..."
False statement. Yes we can build load bearing masonry buildings with great detail and authenticity or save the one you have!
Quote: I think Emily Powell put it best in the response to the neighborhood association," Robinson explains. "She said, 'I have a very strong connection to the building. But is it working? It’s been sitting empty for two years.' To make the project work, it needed to be a new building."
Hello, we are in a 5 year depression. To make the project work you could respect the way the neighborhood evolved the past 100 years and COOPERATE - COLLABORATE with the old fabric through addition of floors. (listen to Bill Badrick)
Quote: "One of the things we thought of a great example of a building that’s changed an area is the Ace Hotel. It has a very dark base but the program is very apparent close to the surface, with people in the lobby and Stumptown. We want to bring that type of life to the edge of the building."
Ohhhh. You mean the National Historic Building that was rehabilitated to accommodate the Ace and Stumptown! Hello, What part of that experience is attributed to the "feel" of the old typology/ building detail.
Brian- I cannot take the designer seriously if they make comments that completely contradicting their argument or are worst, disingenuous to pacify opponents.

Wes Shoger

Is "Adaptive Reuse" a section at Powell's Books? If so, Emily and the architect should check it out.

Snark aside, the Powell's and the architect do great work and great things for the city overall, but in the end this project is an act of vandalism.

Just because a building has not been leased in two years does not mean it's the building's fault.

I have a feeling all options have not been considered here. I simply don't see how such innovative forces heading this project can't do better than just tearing down a building?

Surely they can do better than this.

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