Historic Martin Mayo House Slated for Demolition

Historical black and white photo of Martin Mayo house in 1929
Historic Martin Mayo house in 1929

The Eliot neighborhood may soon be losing an historic resource, a cute house with a unique curved front porch connected to a man who dedicated much of his life to the community over one hundred years ago.  The house now at 206 NE Sacramento Street is a little bit tucked away behind shrubbery on a double-sized lot and proposed to be replaced by bland modern higher density housing.  The current owner, Danielle Isenhart of Emerio Design based in Beaverton, filed a demolition permit earlier this spring and was approved on May 4th.  The one condition posed by the city was a demolition delay of 120 days to provide a possible alternative to the destruction of a historic resource.

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Emanuel Apologizes

Urban Renewal Exhibit at Emanual Hospital
Urban Renewal Exhibit at Emanual

In a season already fraught with bad news – Arkansas executions, skyrocketing arms sales, more black teenagers shot by police – a page-8 headline in the last issue of Eliot News stopped me cold:  “Major Expansion Project Planned for Legacy Emanuel Medical Center Campus.”  For me, those 10 words echoed the hospital “expansion” that dismantled the last of Eliot’s African-American community, 44 years ago.

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Cornerstones African American History Project Continues—Combatting Demolition

Vancouver Baptist Church
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the Vancouver Ave Baptist Church in 1961, meeting with the clergy from the church and its neighbors. Photo courtesy Portland Observer.

On​ ​May​ ​18th,​ ​in​ ​the​ ​basement​ ​of​ ​the​ ​Vancouver​ ​Avenue​ ​Baptist​ ​Church,​ ​city representatives​ ​met​ ​with​ ​neighborhood​ ​homeowners,​ ​community​ ​leaders,​ ​city​ ​planners,​ ​and​ ​local historians​ ​to​  discuss​ ​the​ ​precarious​ ​future​ ​of​ ​the​ ​neighborhood’s​ ​homes.​ ​​ ​Finding​ ​the​ ​city’s properties​ ​with​ ​historic​ ​significance​ ​and​ ​protecting​ ​them​ ​from​ ​development​ ​is​ ​the​ ​goal​ ​of​ ​a​ ​new grant-funded​ ​partnership​ ​between​ ​the​ ​city’s​ ​Historic​ ​Preservation​ ​Program​ ​and​ ​the​ ​Architectural Heritage​ ​Center.

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Just Call Me Darcelle

Darcell and Sue
Darcelle and Sue Stringer at the Darcelle XV 86th birthday bash

“Just call me Darcelle,” says the new Guinness Book of World Records holder as we get started with our interview. Darcelle, born Walter Cole, has brought fame to our Eliot neighborhood and the city of Portland in the form of a world record for being the world’s oldest, still performing Drag Queen. However, before he was Darcelle XV, Cole was an entrepreneur. His business ventures survived urban renewal multiple times in rapidly changing city.

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