If you have wondered what is going on at the triangular shaped parcel of land where MLK & Hancock and Grand meet up here’s what is happening. This 15,500 sq. ft. parcel is called the Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd Gateway and Heritage Marker project and is scheduled to be completed by Spring 2012.
In 1993 the Albina Community Plan called for the identification of a gateway at the convergence of N.E. Grand Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd that would announce the entrance to a historic area of Portland, enhance the pedestrian environment, and incorporate multicultural public art.
The gateway consists of a plaza that will provide space for community gatherings and events. Featured in the plaza are four 20 foot high weathering steel heritage markers with twelve interpretive markers that honor the history of the North Northeast neighborhoods in four major themes; Community, Civil Rights, Immigration/Migration, and Commerce and Culture. The perforated weathering steel fence surrounding the plaza buffers the plaza from the heavy traffic flow on NE MLK while allowing clear sight lines into the plaza. The fence and heritage markers will be lit with energy efficient LED lights creating a soft glow for nighttime interest. Canopy trees in the plaza define the space and provide shade and seasonal color for visitors.
For more information on this project you can contact Irene Bowers, Senior Project Manager at Portland Development Commission or visit http://www.pdc.us/ura/convention_center/heritage-markers.asp.