Blog

Open for Take Out!

With the shut down of most businesses we wanted to make sure that Eliot residents knew which businesses are still open for business and specifically take out for meal options, coffee shops to keep you caffeinated and more importantly to show these businesses appreciation for keeping us fed and that we want to keep them viable during these tough times. Below is a list of open businesses which will get updated as needed:

  • Bridges Cafe 503-288-4169 Monday – Sunday 9am-2pm
  • Compass Coffee 888-723-2007 Monday – Friday 6am-6pm Saturday-Sunday 7am-7pm
  • Tiny’s Coffee 503-467-4199 Monday – Sunday 7am-2pm
  • Queen of Sheba 503-287-6302
  • Sparky’s Pizza 503-282-3000 Monday – Sunday 4-8pm (call in orders only for pickup)
  • Brick and Motor Pizza Cart 971-998-6575 Wednesday – Sunday 5-10pm
  • Caffe Destino 503-284-9455 Tuesday – Sunday 8am-4pm
  • Pocket Pub 503-287-3645 Wednesday – Sunday 4-9pm
  • People’s Pig 503-282-2800 Wednesday – Sunday 11am-8pm (call ahead for to go orders only)
  • Labrewatory closed but can order beer through Tamale Boy
  • Tamale Boy 503-477-6706 Monday-Sunday 11am-8pm or order online: tamaleboy.com for pick up (or delivery with 24 hours notice)
  • Bernstein’s Bagels Saturday – Sunday 8:30am-12:00pm DELIVERY ONLY (order online: bernsteinsbagels.com)
  • Memoz Dessert Cafe 503-477-6030 Wednesday – Sunday 4-8pm or order online: memozcafe.com
  • TwentySix Cafe 503-284-6033 Monday – Sunday 8am-12pm

How can we help?

As we all know, the Covid 19 virus situation is changing daily. As of the printing of this issue, the events listed  in the newspaper were still planned.  However, many businesses may need to be closed and events may need to be cancelled or postponed.  Please check the websites or contact the businesses or events for the latest status.

Stay safe, check on your neighbors, and remember our neighborhood businesses would appreciate your patronage whenever possible.  We need to work together as a community to get through these tough times. 

If you are elderly, disabled, or part of the defined vulnerable population, or know someone who needs help, please contact the neighborhood association. If we can help you with delivery of groceries, prescriptions, or supplies, contact us at info@eliotneighborhood.org.

For other resources and how to handle sharing and caring during a pandemic, check out the Buy Nothing Get Everything post below(www.buynothinggeteverything.com in the Blog tab) and consider joining the “Buy Nothing Lloyd District/Eliot/Irvington (West), NE Portland, OR” Facebook group and join Nextdoor.com to stay connected. https://www.buynothinggeteverything.com/post/how-share-during-pandemic?fbclid=IwAR2vFaPqZWaVAXlgmNjUAQHwE4e5IxogQGot2r5WtiuSNLW0dAJgkp6LolU

Do you burn wood in Multnomah County? Survey responses needed by 7/13/20

Multnomah County Office of Sustainability has asked the Eliot Neighborhood Association to share this message:

Multnomah County’s Office of Sustainability has received a DEQ grant to implement a community campaign about health and wood smoke. The goal of the campaign is to promote clean air and reduce wood smoke in the county. 

They are in the early stages of brainstorming and would appreciate feedback about wood burning. 

If you burn wood, this 10 minute survey will help inform our 2020-2021 Wood Smoke Campaign. Please fill out by midnight Monday, July 13th for a chance to win one of four $25 Fred Meyer gift cards. 

Please reach out to sustainability@multco.us with any questions or concerns. Thank you!

Land Use and Transportation Committee

Agenda July 13th, 2020

7:00-8:00 pm

Zoom Meeting Link

Zoom Meeting ID: 93542711253

Zoom Password: 747204

  1. 7:00 Open meeting, Welcome guests, Introductions (5 mins)
  2. 7:05 Discuss agenda and accept any additions (5)
  3. 7:10 Neighborhood Greenways Discussion (30) 
  4. 7:40 I-5 Expansion Update (10)
  5. 7:50 Discuss upcoming projects and if we want to get involved (5)
  6. 7:55 Approve Minutes (5)

Randall Children’s Hospital nationally recognized for excellence in surgery

By Kristin Whitney

The American College of Surgeons (ACS) has verified Randall Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel as a Level 1 Children’s Surgery Center, making it one of two children’s surgical centers in Oregon to earn this prestigious validation.  

The Level 1 surgical verification was awarded because of Randall Children’s high-quality pediatric-specific surgical services, multidisciplinary team of world-class pediatric specialists and holistic approach to children’s surgery. Previously, Randall Children’s was the first hospital in Oregon and the first children’s hospital in the Pacific Northwest to receive the Level 1 pediatric trauma center verification by American College of Surgeons in 2017. 

“From the beginning, Randall Children’s Hospital was built with the needs of children and families in mind,” said Bronwyn Houston, president of Randall Children’s Hospital. “Randall Children’s treats over 100,000 children a year, and this achievement in pediatric surgery highlights the hospital’s expertise in providing the highest level of comprehensive care possible for every child.”

Randall Children’s is one of 21 surgical centers in the nation to achieve this elite verification from the American College of Surgeons. The process is rigorous, requiring surgical centers to meet essential criteria for staffing, training, and facility infrastructure and protocols for children’s care.

“Kids have unique physical and emotional needs,” said Cindy Gingalewski, M.D., medical director of children’s surgical services. “If your child requires surgery, you want to know that at every step of the way they are being treated by leading pediatric specialists who are committed to providing the highest quality care tailored for children.”

Some requirements and attributes of an ACS-CSV-verified pediatric surgical program include:

  • Pediatric-trained specialists including surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses, radiologists and intensivists who are available to care for children 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Children’s specialty surgeons in pediatric orthopedic surgery, pediatric neurosurgery, congenital heart surgery, pediatric plastic surgery, pediatric ophthalmology, pediatric otolaryngology and pediatric urology are required in Level 1 children’s surgical centers.  
  • Dedicated resources to take care of the most complex pediatric conditions.
  • Providing leadership in education to families, community pediatricians, and emergency personnel.
  • Participation in a national data registry that yields semiannual reports of quality for processes and outcomes and identifies opportunities for continuous quality improvements.
  • A robust research program that brings evidence-based science into clinical practice at the bedside.

Randall Children’s participates in ongoing performance improvement efforts to ensure each patient experiences the best possible surgical outcome from the emergency department to the inpatient rehabilitation program. Throughout the Pacific Northwest, Randall Children’s is known for its excellent communication with referring pediatricians and families.

The American College of Surgeons is a scientific and educational association of surgeons that was founded in 1913 to improve the quality of care for the surgical patient by setting high standards for surgical education and practice. Longstanding achievements have placed the ACS in the forefront of American surgery and have made it an important advocate for all surgical patients.

About Legacy Health

Legacy Health is a locally owned, nonprofit health system driven by our mission to improve the health of those around us. We offer a unique blend of health services – from wellness and urgent care to dedicated children’s care and advanced medical centers – to care for patients of all ages when and where they need us across the Portland/Vancouver metro area and mid-Willamette Valley. With an eye toward a healthier community, our partnerships tackle vital issues such as housing and mental health. Legacy strives to help everyone live healthier and better lives, with the vision of being essential to the health of the region. For more information, visit www.legacyhealth.org.

Are you ready for the Big One? Earthquake Tech to the rescue!

Steve Gemmell, the owner of Earthquake Tech, unexpectedly learned about seismic retrofitting 20 years ago. After getting out of college and living life as a ski bum in Colorado for a year, he was painting and refurbishing houses and ended up getting his contractor’s license. He bought his first fixer home in Portland in 1995 which was happened to be a real fixer-upper. Steve’s dad was familiar with the Cascadia Subduction Zone and suggested he get earthquake insurance. State Farm Insurance issued the policy with no questions asked. 

Fast forward to 1999 when Steve went to buy his second home and again approached State Farm to write the earthquake policy. They asked if the house was bolted down to the foundation.  Not familiar with the process, he talked to an engineer who explained to him how to make the right connections for the house. He bolted that house down to its foundation and was able qualify for the insurance policy.  An idea for a business was born… So why specialize in the retrofitting business? Steve says, “Seismic retrofitting requires way less trips to the hardware store compared to other construction/remodeling projects. I know exactly what I need and have all supplies at the ready which makes for a very efficient job.”

Seeing the importance of spreading the word for seismic reinforcement, Steve marketed his business to State Farm and the agents, in turn, would refer their insurance customers to Steve. Twenty years later, Earthquake Tech still markets to all insurance companies, home inspectors, real estate agents, and business associations, as well as offering continuing education to all those business segments and their agents.

“Earthquake Tech specializes in residential and commercial seismic retrofitting. We also run a group out of our headquarters called the Portland Resiliency Plan, a community effort bringing the message of preparedness to all walks of life and age groups in the city of Portland,” says Steve. Besides seismic retrofitting, Earthquake Tech offers many other services including full commercial and residential seismic upgrades, installation of basement staircases, egress windows and doors, staircase doors, and emergency gas shut off valves.

Earthquake Tech has recently purchased the building at 2310 N Kerby Ave just off N Russell Street and will host events here soon. Future events planned are Earthquake Tech sponsored talks by Steven Eberlein from Tipping Point Resilience on the Cascadia Subduction and earthquake preparedness. The Portland Resiliency Plan will also offer a program for business owners about creating resiliency plans/emergency plans after an earthquake, ice storm, etc.

 Many homeowners are seeing the value of retrofitting their homes and more businesses are also seeing the benefit because of the liability if an earthquake would cause damage and injury in an unreinforced building. So if you are concerned about the safety and resiliency of your home or building, want to talk about preparing your home or business for safety, or have questions about what steps to take, Earthquake Tech is the company to contact with their 20 years of experience. Check out their website for helpful information and tips, email for more information, or give them a call – the safety of your future may depend on it.

Earthquake Tech

2310 N Kerby Ave

503-282-4424 

Earthquaketech.com

contact@earthquaketech.com

Eliot Neighborhood Welcomes New Veterinary Practice

By Alex Simpson

In January 2020,  Grateful Heart Veterinary Hospital started providing North and Northeast Portland with the highest quality, compassionate, and cutting-edge veterinary care.  Dr Katy Felton and her team opened a small animal practice at 3334 North Vancouver Ave. There is a rear entrance and ample parking at 107 N. Cook St, Suite B, right across from New Seasons and Mud Bay stores.

Dr. Felton’s focus is on comprehensive whole-life care of cats and dogs.  With over 13 years in practice, including her role as Medical Director of a thriving Portland clinic, Dr. Felton practices caring, high-touch, and customized medical care.She loves surgery and dentistry, and is a certified canine rehabilitation practitioner, bringing her care of seniors, athletes and pets recovering from procedures to a new level. She is bringing Portland’s best certified team of vet care professionals with her to North Portland. The entire staff is Fear Free Certified, dedicated to making veterinary visits as low stress as possible for pets and their families.

Stop by the clinic in January, visit our website at www.gratefulheartvethospital.com, or call us at 503-813-2050 to meet our team, see our vision, and share in the best veterinary experience possible.  We think anyone who loves their pets as much as we do will enjoy the gorgeous space, culture, and phenomenal care we’re bringing to North Portland and the Eliot neighborhood.

CANCELLED for 2020 but save the dates June 25-27, 2021: Good in the Hood Multicultural Music and Food Festival… Don’t miss it!

The Good in the Hood Music and Food festival is the largest multi-cultural festival in the Pacific NW.  This three-day music festival opens with a community parade that travels through Northeast Portland and ends at Lillis-Albina Park.

The Good in the Hood festival is a community event that is staffed by community volunteers and funded by local businesses and organization sponsorships.  

The Good in the Hood Multicultural Music & Food Festival has become a historical annual event spearheading neighborhoods throughout Portland to engage in the momentum of our city as a whole in its celebration and the defining of Neighborhood.  Held annually the last weekend in June, its birth revealed a recognition and celebration of wealth within the neighborhoods we reside.  Holy Redeemer Catholic School was the vision that ignited the now celebrated Good in the Hood Multicultural Music & Food Festival.  For most of the years celebrating this event, Lillis Albina Park has carried on this vision to capture audiences from the North/Northeast community as well as communities throughout Oregon and Washington.  Last year we reached out to over 30,000 residents living within our Northeast Coalitions designated neighborhoods which many enjoyed two days of fun, music, food and festivities.  

This year’s festival is scheduled for June 26-28. 2020 celebration is cancelled but save the dates June 25-27, 2021 for next year’s celebration. For more information, schedule and vendor or volunteer opportunities go to Goodnthehood.org.

Help Your Community: Work for the U.S. Census Bureau!

By Scott P Moshier, Census Bureau

The U.S. Census Bureau is currently hiring for the 2020 Census. The positions are temporary and flexible with varying pay ranges. For Census Takers in Multnomah and Clackamas counties, the pay starts at $18.00/hour.

By working for the Census Bureau, our community has a special opportunity to help make the 2020 Census an accurate and complete count. There are so many reasons our nation needs to be counted completely and accurately. The count happens every 10 years with the decennial census, which influences how more than $675 billion from more than 100 federal programs are distributed to states and localities each year. Here’s some of what the census numbers effect:

  • Medicaid.
  • School lunch programs.
  • Community development grants.
  • Road and school construction.
  • Medical services.
  • Business locations.

If you’re interested in a job, please visit the Census Bureau job site to apply. You’ll also be able to see descriptions and frequently asked questions at 2020census.gov/jobs.

We’re also encouraging everyone to self-respond to the 2020 Census Questionnaire at 2020census.gov, by phone at 844-330-2020, or by mailing in the paper questionnaire they received in the mail.

Condensed version in Spanish:

¡Usted puede ayudar a su comunidad! Solicite un empleo temporal con el Censo del 2020. Los resultados del Censo ayudan a determinar el número de representantes de cada estado en el Congreso, así como la manera en la que se usan fondos para escuelas, hospitales y carret-eras. Complete una solicitud de empleo por Internet en 2020census.gov/jobs.

Oasis of Change- Response to Coronavirus

By Dov Judd

I hope everyone is staying safe and finding constructive ways to keep occupied and connect with those around you. We at Oasis of Change miss seeing everyone around especially as the spring is starting and the farm is coming to life. Eating meals on the farm with no community around is just not the same.

Some welcome relief from staying at home – planting starwberries at Oasis of Change. Photo credit Dov Judd

We have been thinking hard about how we can help the community in this time and so far we have come up with a couple special ideas. We have been so saddened to see how empty it has gotten and our mission is to create community so we are going to try to start inviting people back in safe ways. We are opening up our garden and farm space to the public as a community coffee and tea hangout. We have partnered with Karma Cup, a really amazing organization who is working to end homelessness.  We have so much beautiful outdoor space we might as well share it and the benefit of being outdoors is that the sun actually disinfects! 

We just finished re-doing the garden space to allow us to have all the distance we need. We can accommodate up to 6 people per group and we have 10 private outdoor seating spaces all separated by a beautiful farm. So, come relax and see everything coming to life and feel some normalcy in this time. It is recommended that you call ahead to reserve. We are also opening up our outdoor gym and trampoline to families and individuals who miss working out all you have to do is reach out and book a 30 minute to hour time slot. So if you’re feeling stuck and want a little breath of normalcy in your life come out and have a cup of coffee.

1. We launched Oasis of Change online which will hopefully give you something to laugh at and you might even learn some cooking tips.  The link is https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCp_2HabSRwCzlvnThpsKwzQ/ please feel free to share. 

2. Dr. Kat is opening up a covid-19 drive through no contact testing program here. The link to more information and to sign up is http://www.drkatlopez.com/covidtestpdx

3. We are keeping the farm space semi-open as we can all keep distance and get our hands in the dirt. Contact us directly if you would like to get dirty with us, 301-467-8441

Don’t Miss the Juneteenth Celebration (UPDATE: now virtual)

From Juneteenth website:

juneteenthor.com

Call: (503) 267-4686 
Email: info@juneteenthor.com

Juneteenth, also known as Juneteenth “Independence Day” or “Freedom Day”, is a holiday that commemorates the June 19, 1865 announcement of the abolition of slavery and the emancipation of African American slaves.

On September 22, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation effectively ending slavery on January 1, 1863, however, the Proclamation had little effect in the State of Texas until two and half years later. It was on June 19, 1865, that Union General Gordon Granger read General Orders No. 3 to the people of Galveston, Texas:

“The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaved are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor.”

Juneteenth in Oregon

In Oregon, Juneteenth Oregon Celebration was founded 45 years ago by the late and beloved community leader Clara Peoples. The celebration of Juneteenth Oregon dates back to 1945 when Peoples introduced the tradition from Muskogee, Oklahoma, to her co-workers at the Kaiser Shipyards in Portland. Upon moving to Portland in 1945, Clara Peoples was surprised to learn that the Juneteenth holiday was unknown in this part of the country. She introduced the holiday to her co-workers at the Kaiser Shipyards during their break being the first Juneteenth Celebration in Oregon.

Later Clara helped to initiate Portland’s annual citywide Juneteenth celebration in 1972. Juneteenth Oregon’s celebration starts with a parade, followed by the festivities which includes live music and entertainment, art, food, educational booths, cultural booths, community resources and a children’s play area.

Juneteenth OR has many opportunities to get involved. We’re looking for event sponsors, vendors, volunteers, and parade participants for our upcoming event. We count on supporters like you to help make our Juneteenth Oregon Celebration successful. Make a donation to show your support.

Juneteenth Celebration

June 20, 12-6 pm

Legacy Emanuel Field (modified to now a virtual event check out their Juneteenth Oregon Facebook page for details)

N Williams and N Russell St

Parade start: Safeway  on NE MLK and Ainsworth—9:30 am

Juneteenthor.com

info@junteenthor.com

Land Use and Climate Change

Climate change has been top of mind a lot for me recently. I used to think that individual consumption choices could help make a change, but recently I’ve adapted more of the mindset that we need to advocate for systemic changes that enable people to lead more sustainable lives and help make sustainable choices the default. Luckily, the city has been pushing for some land use and transportation policies recently that will help achieve more sustainable outcomes.

I’m personally excited about the Residential Infill Project. I will admit that it has flaws, but I think the positives far outweigh the negatives. At a high level, it ends the ban of building 2, 3, and 4 plexes in single family zoned lots. By allowing for the construction of higher density living arrangements, heating will be more efficient (less energy usage!), and transit, walking, and bicycling for daily errands become more viable (less fossil fuel consumption!). Another benefit is that the requirement for off-street parking is removed which will hopefully lead to more tree coverage as there will be fewer driveways and more space for trees. The city’s own analysis also showed that this proposal would decrease displacement in Eliot which is a huge win for the neighborhood.

Another policy proposal the city has recently put forth is the Rose Lane Project. The aim with this proposal is to get busses out of car traffic on the most utilized routes. By helping the bus move more quickly, we’ll be helping move people more quickly and we’ll make taking the bus a more viable alternative to driving for more people. The more people who choose taking the bus over driving leads to less emissions. This project will also benefit Eliot as some of the busses to be prioritized are the 6 on MLK and the 4/44 on Vancouver/Williams.

It’s an exciting time to be involved right now as a lot is changing and there are some projects that make me feel optimistic which can be hard to come by right now. If this kind of thing sounds interesting to you, we’d love for you to come to our Eliot Neighborhood Land Use and Transportation Committee meetings on the second Monday of the month at 7pm at St Philip the Deacon.

Land Use and Climate Change

By Brad Baker, LUTC Chair

Climate change has been top of mind a lot for me recently. I used to think that individual consumption choices could help make a change, but recently I’ve adapted more of the mindset that we need to advocate for systemic changes that enable people to lead more sustainable lives and help make sustainable choices the default. Luckily, the city has been pushing for some land use and transportation policies recently that will help achieve more sustainable outcomes.

I’m personally excited about the Residential Infill Project. I will admit that it has flaws, but I think the positives far outweigh the negatives. At a high level, it ends the ban of building 2, 3, and 4 plexes in single family zoned lots. By allowing for the construction of higher density living arrangements, heating will be more efficient (less energy usage!), and transit, walking, and bicycling for daily errands become more viable (less fossil fuel consumption!). Another benefit is that the requirement for off-street parking is removed which will hopefully lead to more tree coverage as there will be fewer driveways and more space for trees. The city’s own analysis also showed that this proposal would decrease displacement in Eliot which is a huge win for the neighborhood.

Another policy proposal the city has recently put forth is the Rose Lane Project. The aim with this proposal is to get busses out of car traffic on the most utilized routes. By helping the bus move more quickly, we’ll be helping move people more quickly and we’ll make taking the bus a more viable alternative to driving for more people. The more people who choose taking the bus over driving leads to less emissions. This project will also benefit Eliot as some of the busses to be prioritized are the 6 on MLK and the 4/44 on Vancouver/Williams.

It’s an exciting time to be involved right now as a lot is changing and there are some projects that make me feel optimistic which can be hard to come by right now. If this kind of thing sounds interesting to you, we’d love for you to come to our Eliot Neighborhood Land Use and Transportation Committee meetings on the second Monday of the month at 7pm at St Philip the Deacon.

Introducing the Eliot Business District!

By Corey Kaster

I am Corey Kaster, with Insurance Masters NW (directly behind the Nike Factory Store), and want to share with you an exciting transformation coming to the Eliot Neighborhood! 

The present state of the neighborhood with graffiti, crime, and litter doesn’t work. Business owners and residents have been taking the only action they know how and adding lighting, fencing, cameras, etc. While this may be somewhat effective, it also hasn’t made the neighborhood feel like a better place to live/work. 

Not only are things bad, but without action I foresee them getting worse resulting in more incidents, disconnection, fear, and reactionary actions. 

I envision a new future…. one where there is a vibrant, connected, and engaged business community that is a powerful force in transforming our neighborhood into something currently unimaginable. Imagine spotless streets, connected business owners that powerfully engage with the Neighborhood Association and Sustainable Eliot, and a neighborhood we are excited to live and work in with a sense pride! 

If you have a business in the neighborhood and are inspired by this future please email me to connect at corey@im-nw.com.


The new Eliot Business District Facebook Group that can be accessed here to build this community is at this link – eliot.im-nw.com

Don’t forget to be counted!

The 2020 Census is taking place right now. With all the disruption of the coronavirus it is easy to forget this important task. You should have gotten a document in the mail to fill out. Otherwise you can call 844-330-2020 or you go can go to the website to complete your participation in the census.  Either way don’t forget to be counted.  Your information has an impact that will be long lasting and important. https://2020census.gov/en.html

CLT in the City: Using Cross-Laminated Timber for Infill Housing

My wife and I have provided rental housing in Eliot ever since we moved here 40 plus years ago.  Our intent then, as now, was to preserve Eliot’s older buildings threatened with demolition by developers who were, at best, clueless about the neighborhood’s origins and history.  One of these homes was at 19 NE Morris that was graced with a mature walnut tree that spread its branches across four adjacent properties.  We bought that property to protect the tree as the lot was zoned for multi-family units and was about to be sold to a developer.  After almost 30 years the house finally got to the point that it wasn’t economic to repair it and replacement required multiple units by code, so the house couldn’t be saved.  To save the tree, we were able to reduce the zoning code required number of new units from 6 to 4, which also allowed for a design like the adjacent townhomes (instead of the typical flat-roof modern box design).

I was Chair or a member of the Eliot Land Use Committee for multiple years.  A common complaint we heard from neighbors was that new development typically resulted in contractors blocking parking and sidewalks for months on end, which is a great inconvenience in Eliot.  I vowed to reduce neighbor conflict like this to a minimum by using construction methods that were faster than conventional “stick framing” that requires large numbers of workers.  This led to the selection of cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels that are quickly erected with a crane.  Eliot has a couple of multi-story CLT buildings so the technique isn’t new, but the use of CLTs for a smaller building was new, mostly because it is more expensive than conventional stick framing.  I thought the trade-off between construction speed and cost was worth it to avoid the prolonged inconvenience of neighbors.   

Erecting CLT walls – end of day one at 19 NE Morris. Photo courtesy Mike Warwick

The process for our project was simple in concept.  Provide a concrete slab foundation for the CLT panels, erect the panels using a crane, and finish construction using conventional contractors for electrical, plumbing, finish, etc.  The concrete was poured at the end of October.  The panels came from Austria, which has decades of experience with CLTs; consequently, they are better quality and less expensive than locally made ones, even with the shipping.  Plus, they meet the higher European standards for chemicals in the glue and the sustainability of the wood.  They arrived in November.  Erection was scheduled for mid- to late-December but waiting until after Christmas was favored by the construction crews.  Unfortunately, that was just about the last dry period we had for construction!

Three weeks from start of construction. Photo courtesy Mike Warwick

Part of the street was closed to public parking as was the sidewalk for two weeks starting January 21st.  The first panels were lifted into place by a very large mobile crane on the 22nd.  Panels continued to be installed for two more days and the crew got a couple of workdays to play catch up.  The crane returned the 28th and the final panel was placed at 4 PM the 29th.  Five days to erect the building shell and only two weeks of parking restrictions.  Unfortunately, the Park Department’s required “tree protection zone” around the lone street tree will keep the sidewalk closed for the duration of construction.  The roof trusses were installed in the first week of February, so the building shell was essentially complete in three, very rainy, weeks!  The shell was ready for siding and roofing the first week of March.  Finishing construction will take a while longer to coordinate among the different building trades.  The result will be four, new 2-bedroom townhomes in place of the original 2-bedroom home. 

Day five – final day of panel erection. Photo courtesy Mike Warwick

Allen Flowers Houses – Lost to Development… Score Another Point for Cars

By Monique Gaskins

Until last summer, two Victorian houses, both built by a Black family, stood near the southern border of the Eliot neighborhood. Allen and Louisa Flowers built and owned these houses, which may have been the oldest standing houses built by Black people in Portland. The buildings had initially been part of a larger group of identical houses built by the Flowers family in 1885, but one of the other homes had been demolished in favor of a Ford owned parking lot in the 1970s. In an ironic example of history repeating itself, OB Portland Properties LLC – according to Portland Maps the same group that owns the land under the Broadway Toyota Dealership – bought and demolished the remaining houses in 2019. Presumably, these houses will also become a parking lot or some other car-focused infrastructure.

Although many of our cities’ streets and parks bear the name of previous residents, I hadn’t heard of the Flowers family until a neighbor mentioned that we were losing an important part of Portland history with these houses. Allen Flowers moved to Portland in 1865 after jumping ship from the Brother Jonathon where he’d been employed. Mr. Flowers became a porter for the Portland to Seattle route of the Northern Pacific Railroad and later married Louisa. Mrs. Flowers moved to Portland from Boston in 1882 after marrying Allen. At this time, Portland’s Black community numbered fewer than 500 members, which is not too surprising given contemporary politics. Oregon’s citizens included a Black exclusion law in their 1857 constitution, paving the way for Oregon to enter the Union in 1859 as a “whites-only” state. It wasn’t until 1959, that Oregon officially ratified the 15th amendment, allowing all people the right to vote, regardless of their race.

Ralph Flowers, son of Allen and Louisa Flowers, his wife Ruth Flowers and their son Clifford in front of the Flowers houses circa 1920. Photo courtesy of Oregon Historical Society

In this environment, the Flowers family built their version of the American dream. They maintained a farm near Mount Scott which became a hub for Black Portlanders and they were active members of their church. Allen Flowers developed NE Schuyler Street, supposedly to provide the only through street to the river for Louisa and their baby stroller. Louisa became a founding member of the Williams WMCA (now the Billy Elks Lodge) and active in the NAACP. The Flowers demonstrated leadership and compassion while living in a city that didn’t always welcome them. The Flowers family seemed like they would have been ideal neighbors.

The site of the former Flowers houses is designated as a Commercial Mixed-Use 3 zone. According to Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, land with this designation should have buildings that are six stories high and are intended to be pedestrian oriented. For a civic minded family with a history of pedestrian improvements, increasing walking accessible housing seems like a potential extension of the Flowers legacy. However, since the current buyer’s portfolio includes a car dealership on the neighboring property, it isn’t likely that these sites will provide homes for new neighbors or pedestrian focused infrastructure.

After some thoughtful research, Home Forward, Portland’s housing agency, named its newest site the Louisa Flowers. Financed by low-income housing tax-credits, the building provides 240 affordable apartments and honors the impact that Mrs. Flowers had on Portland. Although the Flowers houses no longer exist in Eliot, The Louisa Flowers building continues the family’s work towards building a more welcoming Portland.