Monday, December 28, 2009

Buildings Come Down

It’s been awhile, faithful readers, and I apologize for that. Life is distracting, what can I say.

But! Yes, I have two things to bring to your attention over here on the east side. Both are buildings and both are coming down. Different neighborhoods, different methods.

First, over in southeast on Hawthorne. The Daily Grind, the hippy health food store is no more. The store has actually been closed for a couple of years now ~ sorry if that is distressing news to those of your far away. The empty shell of the formerly bustling business saw chainlink fencing go up a couple of weeks ago, and then last week the bulldozer started. Yes, they are knocking the whole damned thing down. Well, it’s an entire block on upper Hawthorne, and that’s gotta be worth a fair bit of change. I suppose we’ll see more mixed use condo/retail going in… sigh. The last one of those that they put in on upper Hawthorne is hideous. Just plain ugly.

Second, right in my home neighborhood! Yes, smack dab in the middle of Sullivan’s Gulch, well, more like on the boundary of Sullivan’s Gulch, in fact, leaning over the gulch itself. An old brick building, long suspected of being a drug lab by my darling daughter, began its slow descent this month. According to the infallible local tv news, a water main under the building broke during that brutally cold snap we had in mid December. Once things thawed out the broken pipe washed away the land under the foundation and the side of the building sagged down an unexpected few feet. Now, if you are trying to picture this place, it’s on 21st, right after you cross the Banfield and before Multnomah. That very first block if you are traveling northbound on 21st.

The building has housed a number of businesses over the years but has been vacant for quite some time. I can’t remember what the last business was. Was it the oriental rug place or was that next door? Anyway, it was vacant when it started falling into the Gulch. Of course, they can’t leave it that way, and since it is on a fairly busy street and over the railroad it must be dealt with. They’ve been working on it from 21st, blocking the street, and reaching over the guard rail to pull parts of it off and up. It’s a mess. It looks pretty old, all unreinforced brick.

There is something embarrassing about a building with one side torn off. Like we are seeing it unclothed. There’s no business going on, no personal stuff exposed, it just feels rude and voyeuristic to see its parts on display like that. Poor old building. I hope the bricks are salvaged.

That’s it. That’s all I’ve got for now… Happy Holidays and here’s to a great New Year!


  1. I know the second building you're talking about. I can picture it with a bunch of vines growing over it, but I cant actually remember if it ever had that. Probably not. :P

    Poor old building.

  2. now how, dear zoe, would you know it is a meth lab? doing a little homework while dear e was at work? just joking, mind you. i cannot for the life of me think of the building, and i do walk across 21st to get to sandy from broadway.

    the one on hawthorne, was that ever a religious bakery (what a weird two words strung together), or am getting geographically challenged? guess i better get out more and around town, but it is so dang cold! it is good TPR keeps me informed ...

  3. Makes me sad thinking of that place downtown that had tuna and corn sandwiches as I recall. Victoria's or something? They tore that down too, huh? :(

  4. The Virgina Cafe. Yes. They've been on a rampage of late in the Rose City...