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John Thomas

Is landmark some sort of lingo you hip kids use for unused, environmentally destructive eyesore?

Brian Libby

John, thanks for joining the discussion.

Merriam-Webster defines landmark as "an object or structure on land that is easy to see and recognize" or "a building or place that was important in history." Centennial Mills meets both definitions. Its water tower in particular has long been a recognizable part of the Portland riverfront. And a broad consensus of local citizenry and government officials have described the Mills as historically significant.

It sounds like you find Centennial Mills to be not worth preserving, and that's your right. But that doesn't mean that this is a case of you being enlightened while I and the rest of Centennial Mills' supporters are misguided philistines. If you want to see the City save money by not investing in Centennial Mills and direct those urban renewal dollars elsewhere, that's a reasonable point of view given the Mills' poor condition. But many of us believe that this is an opportunity to celebrate a piece of Portland's history in a way that also creates a community gathering place.

Matthew Daby

I realize that this article is about action to preservation (or partial preservation) rather than redesign solutions but... Landschaftspark, the defunct steel mill turned public space in Duisburg, Germany comes to mind or possibly more similar in scale, the Minneapolis Mill City Museum. Both are wonderful examples of reuse that create new and interesting spaces that respect past and present.


Maybe Brian, you could ask what Mr. Wheeler thinks about all this. He looks to have a reasonable chance at being our next Mayor. I imagine if he makes preserving our history a part of his Campaign he can separate himself in a positive way.

It is clearly sad that Mr. Hales and his minions have sat on their hands while this great piece of our PDX history has collapsed to near-ruin. Dereliction of duty?

Kate Powell

I think the developer in Portland lack vision, for the most part. Visit Boston, Monterey, New York, San Diego and San Fransisco and you will see a good mix of old and new, especially along waterfronts. Older buildings retrofitted with shops and restaurants, are charming and bring tourists and all that Portland wants to the area. Instead, everything is being torn down and really, some of the most hideous structures I have ever seen are being thrown up -- pun intended -- with the same mixes everywhere. There are a couple in NW so hideous we take a different route now so we don't have to see them.

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