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zilfondel Apr 8, 2009 9:04 AM

blah

bvpcvm Apr 8, 2009 2:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MightyAlweg (Post 4184075)
Very interesting that they are going for the Live! entertainment mall plan. The LA Live! here in SoCal near the Los Angeles Convention Center is coming together nicely and has really livened up the area there. Personally, I'm just thrilled with a new Trader Vics to have Mai Tai's at when I go to the Auto Show!

But a Portland Live! mall with some big restaurants and such, like Trader Vics, Flemings Steakhouse, Lawry's Carvery, ESPNZone, Wolfgang Puck, etc. will do wonders for the convention trade for Portland.

http://www.lalive.com/index.php

Just wondering. The names of those restaurants mean pretty much nothing to me, but looking at the web site, I can't imagine that they're anything other than fancy Olive Gardens. Are they?

I suppose if something like this manages to enliven that area, then that's positive, but it doesn't look like a place I'd spend much time.

cab Apr 8, 2009 2:14 PM

I don't have a problem with this Live thingy in that location because it will basically bleed the convention crowds. I think those who want a real urban experience will continue to MAX it DT but those who feel more comfortable in the safe, clone retail experience will have a place to go now. Options are always good.

smendesPDX Apr 8, 2009 5:34 PM

This project feels very un-portland. I hope if it does happen, they can really work with our local feel and architecture to make something that doesnt feel alien to us Portlanders.

bugsy Apr 8, 2009 7:58 PM

You Guys Are So Boring, Geez. Can We For A Change Not Have To Go Mountain Climbing Or Trail Walking To Have Fun In This Area?? Ive Been A Portlander All My Life And This Idea Will Give The City With More Choices To Do. You Dont Like It, Dont Go There. Now We Can At Least Take Out Of Town Guests To Something More Fun.

Its About Time We Catch Up With The Other Metropolitans Of The Country By Bringing Entertainment To This City.

urbanlife Apr 8, 2009 7:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by smendesPDX (Post 4184633)
This project feels very un-portland. I hope if it does happen, they can really work with our local feel and architecture to make something that doesnt feel alien to us Portlanders.

yeah, I could care less about Live, but then again, I am not its target audience...but then that makes me wonder who the audience will be, it will definitely cut out a large number of Portlanders that have no interest in this...but on the other hand would be something that would probably sell well with people who are going to the convention center or suburban people coming in for a game.

I am holding off making any final judgments on all of this until I see the designs...:sly:

urbanlife Apr 8, 2009 8:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bugsy (Post 4184879)
You Guys Are So Boring, Geez. Can We For A Change Not Have To Go Mountain Climbing Or Trail Walking To Have Fun In This Area?? Ive Been A Portlander All My Life And This Idea Will Give The City With More Choices To Do. You Dont Like It, Dont Go There. Now We Can At Least Take Out Of Town Guests To Something More Fun.

Its About Time We Catch Up With The Other Metropolitans Of The Country By Bringing Entertainment To This City.

first off, I am very impressed, every word starts with a capital letter....but if that is the only fun things you can find to do in this city, then I suggest you should really look at your city again or travel more to understand what you really have....I have been in alot of cities in this country and Portland is by far one of the best middle sized cities that often times gets grouped in with major cities because of the amount of activity we have going on here.

But then again, something like this might be up your alley...who knows.

NewUrbanist Apr 8, 2009 8:11 PM

City wants to raze Memorial Coliseum
Rose Quarter - A plan calls for building a Triple A ballpark while revitalizing the area

Wednesday, April 08, 2009
MARK LARABEE
The Oregonian Staff
The city plans to demolish Memorial Coliseum to make way for a new Triple A baseball park and will consider razing offices and a parking garage as part of a plan to redevelop the Rose Quarter, Mayor Sam Adams said Tuesday.

That's the outcome of a two-day planning marathon among city officials, the Portland Trail Blazers and representatives for Merritt Paulson's Peregrine LLC, the company formed to bring Major League Soccer to Portland and build a new baseball stadium for Paulson's Portland Beavers.

The group's charge was to find a way to build the baseball park while revitalizing the moribund Rose Quarter.

The Blazers want a covered entertainment district that they hope will bring millions of visitors to the area every night of the week. The district could include retail shops, bars and restaurants, as well as office spaces and a boutique hotel. Other options include a 2,500-seat concert venue and an interactive sports museum sponsored by Nike.

The idea is to create synergy between the Rose Quarter and the Oregon Convention Center, the nearby Lloyd District and other properties along Broadway.

The plan, announced at a news conference, is a turnaround of sorts for the relationship between the Blazers and Paulson's group. J.E. Isaac, a Blazers vice president, spoke against the baseball stadium idea when the City Council moved ahead with the deal last month. Isaac cited worries that the stadium could push aside the entertainment district and leave the Rose Quarter stuck in its decades-old rut.

Now everyone is working together, but Memorial Coliseum will have to come down to make it work, Adams said.

The roll-your-sleeves-up approach felt a little like a rush job because it is.

Adams said he wanted to bring a design concept to the City Council on April 21 as part of a predevelopment agreement with Paulson. Paulson and the city have until Sept. 1 to complete a detailed financial plan for renovating PGE Park for Major League Soccer and building the new baseball stadium. The Beavers need to be out of PGE Park by 2011, when the Portland Timbers move to the big league.

The group is working on several designs, some of which also call for the demolition of the Blazers office building and one or more of the city-owned garages in the quarter, which the city is still paying off.

Adams said they haven't delved into the stickier issue of financing all these big ideas. The financing of the baseball park and soccer stadium, estimated at $88.8 million including city-backed bonds and redevelopment money, hasn't been nailed down yet.

No one has looked at how much the entertainment district or any of the other elements would cost. But officials said they would be phased in over at least the next seven to 10 years and probably will require some taxpayer money. The city will hold a public meeting to discuss the plans next Tuesday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Left Bank Building, 240 N. Broadway.

Mark Larabee: 503-294-7664; marklarabee@news.oregonian.com

tworivers Apr 8, 2009 8:19 PM

Call me "boring", but I don't want all that generic corporate crap right in the middle of Portland. And virtually all of my out-of-town guests over the years have wanted to experience what makes Portland special. No one has ever asked "Where's the nearest (insert name of establishment they've been to a million times in other cities)?" This has included family that I consider to be more in the conservative/mainstream/suburban demographic.

Many people worry about what our city will be like with the numbers of people forecast to move here, whether we'll turn into "another (insert city here)". This type of development will be a step in that direction, if it follows the same, or similar, model that it has in other cities. Of course, the Cordish people are saying that it will be tailored to Portland and are throwing around the Sustainable word as often as they can. I'm skeptical.

I don't think options are "always" good.

tworivers Apr 8, 2009 8:37 PM

Quote:

I doubt there's an architect/construction firm in Portland that could give us a replica of those 19th century buildings we destroyed. The art of building like that has simply been lost. But (short of a crippling energy crisis) I can't foresee a future where we would be unable to build something just like Memorial Coliseum. Does that mean we should level it? Not necessarily, but comparing it to some of the crimes of the postwar era is disingenuous.
Hey twofiftyfive, I just saw this and I'm pretty sure it was I who made the argument you're talking about. Just for the record, I wouldn't elevate the MC to the same level of significance as all the cast iron (etc) architecture Portland tore out for parking lots, and I see your point about our ability to build something similar today.

My point, though, was that the mindset of expendability and obsolescence is potentially similar, in my opinion. I just think we should take more care before we decide (in this case in the span of a few weeks) to demolish buildings that, at least to many people, carry architectural significance. I foresee people having the same kinds of discussions we are having about our "lost" early-twentieth-century architecture about the MC. "Wow, I can't believe that at the height of their reputation for sustainability and progressive thinking they tore down that cool representative of mid-twentieth-century architecture that we sure could make use of today and built a fake-urban corporate mall/baseball stadium instead."

zilfondel Apr 8, 2009 11:24 PM

If we're going corporate, how about a six flags on the site? I always hate having to drive all the way down to SoCal just to ride some good rollercoasters. Might actually draw a crowd, too! ;)

holladay Apr 8, 2009 11:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MightyAlweg (Post 4184075)
Very interesting that they are going for the Live! entertainment mall plan. The LA Live! here in SoCal near the Los Angeles Convention Center is coming together nicely and has really livened up the area there. Personally, I'm just thrilled with a new Trader Vics to have Mai Tai's at when I go to the Auto Show!

But a Portland Live! mall with some big restaurants and such, like Trader Vics, Flemings Steakhouse, Lawry's Carvery, ESPNZone, Wolfgang Puck, etc. will do wonders for the convention trade for Portland.

http://www.lalive.com/index.php

This sounds disgusting. Leave it in the OC, please!

65MAX Apr 9, 2009 12:56 AM

^^^^
The OC? LA is not OC.

And if it's so disgusting, why are these Live! complexes so popular? If it doesn't appeal to you, fine, but there are 2.5 million other people here. Plus they cater heavily to tourists. That's a good fit for the area next to the convention center.

pdxman Apr 9, 2009 2:31 AM

^^^Agreed 65MAX.

urbanlife Apr 9, 2009 3:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 65MAX (Post 4185426)
^^^^
The OC? LA is not OC.

And if it's so disgusting, why are these Live! complexes so popular? If it doesn't appeal to you, fine, but there are 2.5 million other people here. Plus they cater heavily to tourists. That's a good fit for the area next to the convention center.

plus we are talking about an area that is attached (so to speak) to the Lloyd District....it is very rare to hear a Portlander talk about how much they love that area....if that area became a giant tourist trap, I am sure Portlanders will keep doing what they already are doing to that area, which is ignore it and leave it for the outsiders who wish to take part in it and fool themselves into thinking they are taking in Portland culture.

holladay Apr 9, 2009 3:48 AM

But there is an opportunity to make the Lloyd District a more integrated part of the larger city. More housing, on-street retail, and neighborhood amenities could pop up in the area. What they are doing by proposing this 'Anywhere USA' pop entertainment district could destroy the potential of this area to be a great inner-Portland community.

65MAX Apr 9, 2009 6:46 AM

^^^^
Sorry, I don't understand your argument.

How does a Live! complex preclude any of the other developments you just mentioned? If anything, a "pop" entertainment complex like this could be the kick in the a$$ the Lloyd District needs to FINALLY attract more housing, more retail and more neighborhood amenities. Just because this concept didn't originate here, doesn't make it anti-Portland.

Also, and this is rhetorical, how many of the tourists visiting these Live! complexes in other cities are actually Portlanders looking for a good time? And why wouldn't they visit a Live! in their own hometown?

holladay Apr 9, 2009 7:09 AM

Cities repeatedly insist that arenas and big entertainment venues lead to large-scale urban redevelopment. While sometimes these kinds of ventures are successful, there are no guarantees that such a project in Portland would generate the type of investment you are hoping for. Furthermore, the Lloyd District is a highly fragmented portion of Portland that has suffered tremendously from tear-downs during the 60s-80s. Unlike most areas of Portland, the area feels anonymous and nondescript - due in large part to the wide roads, the anonymous hotels and office towers, and the vast empty parking lots lining many of the thoroughfares. The last thing the Lloyd District needs is another bland and anonymous development imported from another state that features essentially nothing but chain retailers and sports pubs. If the attempt is to help the area gain its own identity, the new home for the Beavers and the adjoining commercial developments need to be designed with Portland in mind. Maybe something more like a traditional mixed-use development with housing, offices, and retail spaces that aren't necessarily geared towards "destination" entertainment and dining.

MightyAlweg Apr 9, 2009 11:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bvpcvm (Post 4184251)
Just wondering. The names of those restaurants mean pretty much nothing to me, but looking at the web site, I can't imagine that they're anything other than fancy Olive Gardens. Are they?

Oh, my. Where to begin? :haha:

Trader Vics is simply an American icon. They were the first restaurant to tap into the Polynesian craze in the mid 1930's. They invented it really, and nurtured it into the 1950's until it took off on its own in the 60's. There used to be a FABULOUS Trader Vics from the 1950's off the lobby of the Benson Hotel on Broadway. It was still there when I lived in Portland in the 1980's, albeit in its dying days. The Benson Hotel branch closed at some point in the late 20th century, before the chain had its current renaissance, especially overseas. If they put another one back in Portland at Portland Live!, it would be a nice homecoming for them.

Lawry's The Prime Rib is another American icon. Surely you've heard of their famous prime rib restaurant in LA where the two teams playing in the Rose Bowl dine the day before the game? No? It's mid 20th century Hollywood glamour mixed with modern football royalty, epitomized. Lawry's has been succesful recently building restaurants in big cities around the USA, and their prime rib is still divine. Great French Dips too, at lunchtime in their more casual Carvery restaurants.

Woflgang Puck is Wolfgang Puck. I'm not really into it, and I wasn't into it even in the 1990's. Tourists dig it though.

ESPNZone is basically a 21st century Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour for adult sports nuts. Except with a liquore license, and not a Portland Zoo in sight. It's very popular with their target demographic though. VERY popular.

Flemings does a good steak. But you can find them in most big cities. They are kind of a Ruth's Chris wannabe, and the high priced Olive Garden description isn't too far off. But for the Convention trade, which is what would keep these restaurants in business in this location, it is popular. And neccesary.

Now, put a real Farrell's in Portland Live!, in the city where Farrell's began back in '63, and you might have something! I get the sense though that a lot of folks on this forum are too young to remember Farrell's from the 1970's however. If so, well, nevermind. :cool:

MightyAlweg Apr 9, 2009 11:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 65MAX (Post 4185426)
The OC? LA is not OC.

Thank you. :)

Except for the weather, LA is very different from OC. Some of that is good, some of that isn't so good. But it's very different. It would be like someone lumping Portland and Seattle together as the same thing.

I'll never forget my dentist in Boston 15 years ago who knew nothing about Oregon (Orey-gohn?), and was amazed to hear that Oregon and Washington had Pacific Ocean coastline. "They're all just lumberjacks out there, aren't they? Did you have phone service when you lived there?" The man spent 8 years in college/med school and was clueless about anything west of Worcester.

The point is, provincialism can rear its head anywhere, even amongst those who may think they know better.

MightyAlweg Apr 9, 2009 12:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by realm0854 (Post 4185992)
Maybe something more like a traditional mixed-use development with housing, offices, and retail spaces that aren't necessarily geared towards "destination" entertainment and dining.

Sounds to me like you just described the Beaverton Round. :D

I totally get that a certain slice of 21st century Portlanders desperately want to be hip and anti-chain and anti-corporate. But when it comes to keeping a big city convention center and pro sports complex in financial good health, you are going to have to compromise just a bit.

While some may envision a LEEDS Platinum rated mixed-use, transit-oriented, work-live community of organic co-op vegan delicatessens feeding the incoming crowds for the Boat Show and the Blazers games, the reality is a tad different. The types and sheer numbers of customers that a big city convention center and a pro sports venue natually generates is going to need some large scale facilities to feed and entertain it. A Portland Live! development, probably not as big as the LA Live! version, would not only do wonders for that dead and sterile neighborhood, but also beef up business for the convention center and all the jobs and taxes the tourism/hospitality industry brings to a city like Portland.

But maybe they could also get a branch of Powell's in there, or a Stump Town Roasters or something, or an Oblation Papers or La Paloma outlet, just so it has a more "Portland" vibe to it?

Still, I'll buy the first round of Mai Tai's if Trader Vics returns to PDX there!

twofiftyfive Apr 9, 2009 2:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MightyAlweg (Post 4186142)
I totally get that a certain slice of 21st century Portlanders desperately want to be hip and anti-chain and anti-corporate. But when it comes to keeping a big city convention center and pro sports complex in financial good health, you are going to have to compromise just a bit.

You've hit the nail on the head. I'm not accusing realm0854 of this, but I suspect that a lot of the people opposed (the ones who post at the Merc, not the BANANAs who post at O-Live) are worried that the people in the lame city they left for Portland might hear about this, and they'll lose some hipster cred.

urbanlife is correct that the Rose Quarter/Lloyd District is not a vibrant, organic district, so (architectural arguments about MC aside) we are not losing anything by doing this. Regarding opportunity costs, I don't know whether that area has the chance to be the kind of place realm0854 talks about. It's where we plop our giant footprint buildings, like the Lloyd Center, Rose Garden, and especially OCC. Just be glad that stuff isn't downtown.

stan Apr 9, 2009 3:35 PM

I can't say I'm terribly up in arms about the proposed Live project, but I just wonder if this is the best that Portland can do? Rose Quarter is such a desolate hole now because of at least 50 years of misguided city/PDC policies. Now if the Blazers want to do this on their own, can't say I care too much. Probably won't ever go there, but not my problem. If the city is expected to subsidize this, that's a very different proposition. I can understand city residents not being thrilled about having a glorified Clackamas Town Center Food Court being built at least in part with city funds. Can't say I've been impressed with Cordish so far, their proposal for Centennial Mills was truly awful.

CUclimber Apr 9, 2009 5:15 PM

This Portland Live! thing sounds downright terrible. While I realize that you can't build a modern metropolis on hipsters, Stumptown, and independent boutique toy stores there simply has to be a better alternative than that corporate garbage.

This isn't Las Vegas, this isn't Dallas, it isn't Cincinnati, Denver, or Atlanta. It's Portland, and we have made a hell of a good name for ourselves by keeping that faux-glamorous tacky nonsense out of the city proper. If you want your California Pizza Kitchen then go down to Bridgeport (and yes, I know there used to be one on the corner of 23rd & Burnside...).

All of that "Live!" stuff is simply lowest-common-denominator schlock. I don't want to see it here, much less see it billed as a destination. We can do better.

pylon Apr 9, 2009 6:18 PM

I'm not a big fan of the Live! aesthetic either, but there seems to be the possibility of creating a synergy here, ALL WITHIN A FEW BLOCKS, that few, if any, other city would be able to offer a visitor. Let's see how it could all up...

Convention center +
Convention center hotel +
Pro-basketball +
Pro-soccer +
Entertainment complex +
SMART tower +
easy access to a vibrant downtown
(inc. renovated farmer's market
under Burnside) +
new streetcar down to OMSI +
opportunity to take light rail in
almost any direction (which means
the opportunity to see more of what
we like to call the "real" Portland) =
a total package few other convention destinations
can offer



This would hopefully offer any visitor, of whatever tastes/interests, to have something to enjoy, all conveniently located/accessed, including getting to/from the airport (one of the better airports in the country). Fewer (convention) car rentals would be necessary (a green aspect).

And just an idea- I know some Veterans aren't happy with the idea of the MC coming down. How about building the SMART tower in/near its stead and rededicating it to them?

PacificNW Apr 9, 2009 7:36 PM

↑ I don't think Pro Soccer is part of the plan.....AAA (MLB in the future) baseball stadium (which could be dedicated to the Veterans). I am not a fan of demolishing the MC but something(???) should be done with the Rose Quarter.

pylon Apr 9, 2009 8:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PacificNW (Post 4186879)
↑ I don't think Pro Soccer is part of the plan.....AAA (MLB in the future) baseball stadium (which could be dedicated to the Veterans). I am not a fan of demolishing the MC but something(???) should be done with the Rose Quarter.

Yes PacNW, thanks for the correction. Conventioneers can use lightrail to get to the major league soccer stadium.

AAA ball in the near term, but if they expect a possible major league expansion in the future I hope they're factoring scaleability issues into the new AAA stadium's size, surrounding space, location and positioning deliberations going on now. I too hate to see clean iconic modernism of the MC go, but it looks like we'd better start getting used to it.

holladay Apr 9, 2009 9:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MightyAlweg (Post 4186142)
Sounds to me like you just described the Beaverton Round. :D

I totally get that a certain slice of 21st century Portlanders desperately want to be hip and anti-chain and anti-corporate. But when it comes to keeping a big city convention center and pro sports complex in financial good health, you are going to have to compromise just a bit.

While some may envision a LEEDS Platinum rated mixed-use, transit-oriented, work-live community of organic co-op vegan delicatessens feeding the incoming crowds for the Boat Show and the Blazers games, the reality is a tad different. The types and sheer numbers of customers that a big city convention center and a pro sports venue natually generates is going to need some large scale facilities to feed and entertain it. A Portland Live! development, probably not as big as the LA Live! version, would not only do wonders for that dead and sterile neighborhood, but also beef up business for the convention center and all the jobs and taxes the tourism/hospitality industry brings to a city like Portland.

But maybe they could also get a branch of Powell's in there, or a Stump Town Roasters or something, or an Oblation Papers or La Paloma outlet, just so it has a more "Portland" vibe to it?

Still, I'll buy the first round of Mai Tai's if Trader Vics returns to PDX there!

Aside from the slanted comments towards a significant portion of Portland's population, I can see the merits of your argument. However, to go the corporate route in 2009 would undo a lot of the solid gains this city has made in the last 20-25 years towards redefining its identity. I, for one, don't see the Lloyd District as a lost cause - I see its redevelopment as instrumental in increasing density on the Inner Eastside. But quality developments that mean something to the city versus placeless mega-developments are what we need more of in Portland.

zilfondel Apr 10, 2009 12:21 AM

I'm not exactly opposed to the tenant mix proposed for the entertainment development, as I agree with urbanlife's observation that the Lloyd District is much more corporate than the neighborhoods. One thing that this proposal would do is help create urban fabric and maybe link the Conv Center, Lloyd District, Broadway, Rose Quarter, lower Albina and Broadway areas together with more activity. Which would help even the more authentic Portland restaurants, as people would filter out from the sports games and maybe hear about that cool restaurant over on Williams or Mississippi or whatever.

I am still against tearing down the MC, as I believe its value and potential reuse is greater than tearing it down. The key words here are sustainability and cost-effectiveness.

Beavers stadium should go on the PPS site, where it will have enough room to be upgraded to Major League in the future. That would also have the benefit of giving us enough space to have a full program at the Rose Quarter site for a mix of uses. I particularly liked the MARC proposal. A greater mix of uses should make it a larger draw and more resistant to failure.

http://dobetterportland.org/wp-conte...north-day1.jpg
from dobetterportland.org

zilfondel Apr 10, 2009 12:28 AM

Memorial Coliseum: Portland's Penn Station?
by Ryan Yaden, guest opinion
Wednesday April 08, 2009, 10:07 AM
THE OREGONIAN

In 1963 New York's Penn Station was demolished to make way for Madison Square Garden. Since then generations of New Yorkers have lamented its loss. We shouldn't let Portland's Memorial Coliseum become our Penn Station.

Manhattan's original 1910 Pennsylvania Station by McKim, Mead and White was a classic of turn-of-the century Beaux Arts architecture with massive stonework and soaring spaces. But by the 1960s it was viewed as old and out of date. Obsolescence and operating expense were cited by the owners as reasons to tear it down and replace it with a new complex of modern concourses, offices and an arena.

As the great structure was razed, The New York Times wrote a heated eulogy: "Until the first blow fell, no one was convinced that Penn Station really would be demolished, or that New York would permit this monumental act of vandalism against one of the largest and finest landmarks of its age."

Today Memorial Coliseum faces a similar fate.

A new Triple A baseball stadium that was approved as part of a package to bring Major League Soccer to Portland is most often shown on the site of Memorial Coliseum. The timeline puts the need for a plan to be accepted by this fall, so there isn't much time. The site was doubtless chosen for its prime location and size, and in recent years the coliseum has generally been described as obsolete, redundant and expensive to operate.

Sound familiar?

Looking past the (very real) practical issues, we see one of the great buildings of an era. Three years prior to the demolition of Penn Station, in 1960, Skidmore Owings and Merrill completed Memorial Coliseum, dedicated to the "advancement of cultural opportunities for the community and to the memory of our veterans of all wars who made the supreme sacrifice."

It's a sophisticated glass box with a gentle curving bowl set inside for the arena. Inside on the concourse is one of the great views of downtown Portland set against the Willamette River. It signifies a hopeful and progressive time in Portland and since its dedication has hosted some of the more memorable shared experiences for the city.

Most of us who grew up in Portland have some significant childhood memory associated with the coliseum. Don't let its demolition be the lament of future generations simply because we couldn't appreciate its significance in our own time. Beaux Arts structures were thought of as irrelevant in the 1960s, and since then we have learned that a lost masterpiece like Penn Station simply cannot be re-created. It's a nonrenewable resource: When it's gone, it's gone forever.

Now, I'm an avid soccer fan and player, and I'm thrilled that Major League Soccer has chosen Portland for its expansion. Likewise, I'm looking forward to watching both baseball and soccer in stadiums that are more conducive to each activity. But that shouldn't come at the expense of one of the great buildings of its era.

It's time that Portland put its considerable energy and progressive thinking toward adapting Memorial Coliseum to a new and financially sound use. As with any large project, the political, legal and development issues are formidable. It's a difficult problem, but not more challenging than what we have solved in the past.

For the same reasons, people said we couldn't draw a line around the city to preserve our rural lands from development. But we did, and the Urban Growth Boundary was born. People said we couldn't use federal transportation funds for mass transit instead of highways. But we did, and the MAX light-rail system was born.

We have a legacy of accomplishing unconventional change when it improves the quality of our environment.

Go visit the coliseum if you haven't recently. Step back a moment and appreciate the elegant structure for what it is. Look at the details and picture the spirit of that era. Stand on the concourse and look at the city that has grown up so much since 1960.

Yes, the building is a little worse for wear, but for a structure that's almost 50 years old, that's to be expected. With any luck, it won't be the last time you see it.

In the end, Penn Station's demolition did have a silver lining in becoming the example of how devastating lost heritage can be. I hope that won't be the legacy of Memorial Coliseum.

Ryan Yaden of North Portland is an architect and urban designer with Firm 151.


http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/in...tlands_pe.html

PacificNW Apr 10, 2009 2:40 AM

↑ Much better said than I could ever muster... I hate the idea of losing the M.C.

65MAX Apr 10, 2009 8:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CUclimber (Post 4186606)
This Portland Live! thing sounds downright terrible. While I realize that you can't build a modern metropolis on hipsters, Stumptown, and independent boutique toy stores there simply has to be a better alternative than that corporate garbage.

This isn't Las Vegas, this isn't Dallas, it isn't Cincinnati, Denver, or Atlanta. It's Portland, and we have made a hell of a good name for ourselves by keeping that faux-glamorous tacky nonsense out of the city proper. If you want your California Pizza Kitchen then go down to Bridgeport (and yes, I know there used to be one on the corner of 23rd & Burnside...).

All of that "Live!" stuff is simply lowest-common-denominator schlock. I don't want to see it here, much less see it billed as a destination. We can do better.

Wow!! Lowest common denominator?!? How elitist are you? You think that Las Vegas and Dallas and Cincinnati et al are all the same because they have all the same chain stores and restaurants, but Portland is somehow better than that.

Have you ever shopped at a Home Depot or Target? Ever eaten at McDonald's or Burger King or ANY fast food chain? How about a chain like Outback or Olive Garden or Red Robin? Worn any clothing that has Nike's or Levi's or anyone else's logo? Or is this all lowest common denominator schlock to you? Railing against a Portland Live! just because other cities have them seems really hypocritical if you're patronizing other national chains and brands.

MightyAlweg Apr 10, 2009 10:06 AM

I do have to wonder when a succesful business crosses the line into that hip buzzword "corporate" (said with mild scorn, and perhaps slight eye roll). Has StumpTown Roasters gone corporate? They have multiple locations in multiple states and employ a growing number of people all under the same marketed brand. Sounds corporate to me. Is Powell's corporate? They have multiple locations, etc. Is New Seasons Market corporate? My sister works there now, in salaried management, and they have plans to expand beyond Portland metro when the economy turns the corner. Corporate?

I wonder what the hip crowd might approve of for a collection of restaurants, bars and shops around a revitalized Rose Quarter/Convention Center/Baseball Stadium complex? Setting aside a baseball stadium that may not be built, the Oregon Convention Center as it stands now is a handsome facility in a distinctly unattractive and unappealing neighborhood desperately in need of restaurants and entertainment diversions.

Compared to its competitors on the West Coast, the OCC is in the worst area for a big city convention center. San Diego Convention Center is on the harbor and directly next to Petco Park and the vibrant and stylish Gaslamp District, with multiple new high rise hotels directly adjacent. San Fran's Moscone Center is in a gritty neighborhood, but all of San Fran is fairly gritty nowadays, and at least there are some very large, upscale hotels and restaurants in the immediate area of Moscone. Seattle's surprisingly small Convention Center is in the urban core and surrounded by good hotels and top restaurants. Los Angeles Convention Center is on the edge of the urban core and on a light rail line, just like Portland, but it has been boosted by the directly adjacent Staples Center and now the LA Live! high rise mega-development.

The biggest convention center on the West Coast may come as a surprise; Anaheim Convention Center. It's massive yet sleek, and gets all the biggest conventions and groups; we're talking numbers like 100,000+ plus attendees routinely throughout the year. It's across the street from the Disneyland Resort as the biggest tourist draw west of, well, west of Disney World. :haha: But Anaheim has thousands of hotel rooms and dozens of upscale restaurants within walking distance of the huge Convention Center. It's the only convention center in the world where a Ruth's Chris and a Morton's Steakhouse sit directly across the street from each other; talk about expense account mania! :cheers:

Portland is not in the same league as the other West Coast cities because it failed to bolster its perfectly lovely convention facility with adjacent hotels and dining and entertainment for attendees. You can't survive on Boat Shows and church youth groups. You need the big-spending clients and salesmen and schmoozers that big conventions attract, and they need to be fed and entertained after sundown within walking distance of the center.

MightyAlweg Apr 10, 2009 10:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CUclimber (Post 4186606)
All of that "Live!" stuff is simply lowest-common-denominator schlock. I don't want to see it here, much less see it billed as a destination. We can do better.

I think the firm that does these Live! things does a pretty good job of tailoring them to their cities. They aren't all cookie-cutter deals, and some are massive and some are rather small. The Portland one would be smaller. And it won't have a theater that will be hosting the Grammies each year.

LA Live! has really perked up the area around the Los Angeles Convention Center and Staples Center though, even though the 54 story tower won't be completed for another 8 months.

When I look at this picture, I'm struck by the similarities between LA's Convention Center and the Oregon Convention Center. Both are large facilities that have been established on the un-glamorous edge of the downtown core for a few decades now. Both are directly on a light rail line that feeds into other lines/subways. Both are hemmed in by major league sports venues and a freeway. Both had no anchor hotel adjacent to them for decades, and struggled for the biggest conventions because of it. LA has been losing to Anaheim for years.

http://bustler.net/images/uploads/38..._awards_23.jpg

But the LA center was more succesful at getting a major hotel/retail/entertainment/housing development built next door to feed and bolster the Convention Center offerings. The Oregon Convention Center needs that.

Rhome Apr 10, 2009 4:59 PM

I may have missed it, but has anyone supplied a reason why the two stadiums aren't flipped. PGE park is already a good AAA baseball stadium and will need zero work. They can then build the Major League soccer stadium from scratch in the Rose Quarter. This seems more economical than doing work in two places at once.

pylon Apr 10, 2009 5:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rhome (Post 4188446)
I may have missed it, but has anyone supplied a reason why the two stadiums aren't flipped. PGE park is already a good AAA baseball stadium and will need zero work. They can then build the Major League soccer stadium from scratch in the Rose Quarter. This seems more economical than doing work in two places at once.

Seems like a reasonable, if not great, question, Rhome! Plus they would have the two pro stadiums together in the same 'hood (greater attraction for the Rose Quarter?), and there wouldn't have to be the issue of "do we build a AAA stadium that could later be expanded to accommodate MLB?". Beaver baseball would remain uninterrupted. Thanks for taking off our blinders to the obvious, and please get this question to the city council.

jaxg8r1 Apr 10, 2009 5:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rhome (Post 4188446)
I may have missed it, but has anyone supplied a reason why the two stadiums aren't flipped. PGE park is already a good AAA baseball stadium and will need zero work. They can then build the Major League soccer stadium from scratch in the Rose Quarter. This seems more economical than doing work in two places at once.

For one, PGE Park is entirely too big for Minor League Baseball. I've been to a few games where there would be 4k people in a stadium that holds 20k. Not exactly an ideal situation. And from what I know, PGE can't really be expanded to MLB standards.

And I would imagine it would be just as expensive (if not more expensive) to build a 25k seat soccer stadium in Rose Quarter than the current plan, with the downside being that baseball would still be in a hugely oversized stadium.

twofiftyfive Apr 10, 2009 6:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pylon (Post 4188514)
Seems like a reasonable, if not great, question, Rhome! Plus they would have the two pro stadiums together in the same 'hood (greater attraction for the Rose Quarter?), and there wouldn't have to be the issue of "do we build a AAA stadium that could later be expanded to accommodate MLB?". Beaver baseball would remain uninterrupted. Thanks for taking off our blinders to the obvious, and please get this question to the city council.

Please tell me this is meant to be sarcasm.

pylon Apr 10, 2009 8:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by twofiftyfive (Post 4188578)
Please tell me this is meant to be sarcasm.

Hey 255-

Totally sarcasm-free. Maybe I should have written, "Thanks for taking off my blinders to the obvious". The stadium switcheroo option wasn't even on my horizon.

I've spent several years facilitating groups of clinicians to define the user interface requirements for their information systems, and have seen smart people get caught up (fiercely) arguing over one solution or another. And then some "idiot" would come along and turn whole the problem on its side and make the need for either solution (as well as the writhing of hands and gnashing of teeth) moot.

I've also seen people who have a great idea or solution be too shy/afraid to bring it up, usually because they were afraid to be brow-beaten by the type of folks arguing in the paragraph above- some people just can't control their primal impulse to pounce.

I hope these barriers to better, more well thought-out solutions aren't playing out in City Hall. Anyway, sorry for the detour. Let's go to Departure!

urbanlife Apr 10, 2009 8:31 PM

yeah, I love PGE, but it is too big for minor league games. It would make more sense to build a smaller ballpark for the Beavers that can be expanded to a major league stadium in the future. PGE is just about the perfect size though for a major league soccer team...so the current plan to build a new ballpark makes more sense.


I have always thought that the convention center should of happened near Keller when they did the massive urban renewal...while I hate what that renewal area destroyed, it would of made more sense than its current location.


With that said, I do have to agree, the whole hatred to the buzz word "corporate" is stupid...who doesnt want to start a small company and have it take off for themselves? Nothing wrong with that....and usually my hatred to something corporate has more to do with the company themselves....I dont care for starbucks because I dont think their coffee is good and it makes no sense to have so many starbucks competing with itself, stumptown is being much smarter with their growth by going with quality in their beans and being selective with their new locations rather than applying the blanket effect.

But I think hating a company because it is "corporate" is a lame excuse.


I see nothing wrong with a Live! complex...again, I probably will never go there, but I am not its target audience. My only concern is who it will be done and how the ballpark will be handled, this is a chance to not screw this up and make the Rose Quarter even worse.

I wish I had the attachment that many of you have for the MC, but I didnt grow up here and never went to a Blazers game there....but I think my biggest concern with keeping the building is what to do with it. I have heard the MC to be described as a perfect glass box with a gentle curved bowl, but lets say they remove the bowl to apply a new function to the building, would that not be the same as tearing down the building? It would still be destroying its characteristic that makes it the building it is.

I hate saying this because it goes against my beliefs with architecture, but maybe this building really does have a timeline to it and it has finally reached the end of it.

But I would love to hear what you guys have to say about the idea of keeping the shell but destroying the inner contents of the building because you have to admit, it will make the building read differently...even the picture of what it could look like seemed like a massive change from its original look.

Okstate Apr 10, 2009 9:25 PM

^ Great post. I don't understand the point of saving the MC only to then completely retrofit it for a different use & a different look. I do understand the reuse of materials but that could be done regardless. If we are to save the MC then SAVE it in its entirety & simply work AROUND it.

scottyboi Apr 10, 2009 9:56 PM

Maybe Portland could actually do something different like it always says it is going to...something akin to the drawings of Malcolm Wells from the 1994 book Infra Structures.
http://landscapeandurbanism.blogspot...tructures.html

zilfondel Apr 11, 2009 12:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 65MAX (Post 4188045)
Wow!! Lowest common denominator?!? How elitist are you? You think that Las Vegas and Dallas and Cincinnati et al are all the same because they have all the same chain stores and restaurants, but Portland is somehow better than that.

Have you ever shopped at a Home Depot or Target? Ever eaten at McDonald's or Burger King or ANY fast food chain? How about a chain like Outback or Olive Garden or Red Robin? Worn any clothing that has Nike's or Levi's or anyone else's logo? Or is this all lowest common denominator schlock to you? Railing against a Portland Live! just because other cities have them seems really hypocritical if you're patronizing other national chains and brands.

I guess I am an elitist snob. I enjoyed Europe FAR more than Vegas, and haven't been to Dallas or Cinci yet. I have shopped/eaten at every chain you listed above, but generally prefer independent restaurants. I wear Adidas 'cause Nikes don't fit my feet.

I think we can do better in Portland, particularly if we TRY. The problem is, nobody has really tried to fix the Rose Quarter before; we just end up plopping shit in there and hoping it works.

Well, it hasn't so far, and now we're going to tear this huge building down and lose an opportunity for creative reuse. Which is one of the reasons I live in this town, the ability for locals, developers, the city, and architects to find creative uses for older, obsolete buildings.



Maybe we need an International Design Competition. It worked before for the courtyard housing competition, skinny houses, and Pioneer Courthouse Square.

bvpcvm Apr 11, 2009 2:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by urbanlife (Post 4188779)
But I think hating a company because it is "corporate" is a lame excuse.

I think the whole thing about "corporate" stuff being awful boils down to the fact that once a company gets too big, whatever they produce is inevitably calculated, designed and produced by committee; i.e. it's aimed at a target audience. It's no longer someone's funky invention, it's being manufactured with a specific intent, and that intent is to make money. Of course, every business person is in it to make money, but at the same time, you'll find much more variety and creativity among independent operators. And, maybe, some of them are doing it because it's something they love, rather than a way to fatten the bottom line for next quarter's report. Thus, the whole hipster prejudice against the corporate world is simply a desire for something original, "genuine" and, frankly, interesting. So I don't think there's anything whatsoever silly about hoping that we could have something other than this silly Live! concept. Whether that hope is realistic or not is another question.

Re: MightyAlweg's comments about his favorite chain restaurants (and going back to his comments last year about how wonderful service is in hotels in Japan vs Portland): dude, I SO don't get you. But rock on anyway.

holladay Apr 11, 2009 4:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bvpcvm (Post 4189262)
I think the whole thing about "corporate" stuff being awful boils down to the fact that once a company gets too big, whatever they produce is inevitably calculated, designed and produced by committee; i.e. it's aimed at a target audience. It's no longer someone's funky invention, it's being manufactured with a specific intent, and that intent is to make money. Of course, every business person is in it to make money, but at the same time, you'll find much more variety and creativity among independent operators. And, maybe, some of them are doing it because it's something they love, rather than a way to fatten the bottom line for next quarter's report. Thus, the whole hipster prejudice against the corporate world is simply a desire for something original, "genuine" and, frankly, interesting. So I don't think there's anything whatsoever silly about hoping that we could have something other than this silly Live! concept. Whether that hope is realistic or not is another question.

Re: MightyAlweg's comments about his favorite chain restaurants (and going back to his comments last year about how wonderful service is in hotels in Japan vs Portland): dude, I SO don't get you. But rock on anyway.

Thank you. Well said.

urbanlife Apr 11, 2009 7:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bvpcvm (Post 4189262)
I think the whole thing about "corporate" stuff being awful boils down to the fact that once a company gets too big, whatever they produce is inevitably calculated, designed and produced by committee; i.e. it's aimed at a target audience. It's no longer someone's funky invention, it's being manufactured with a specific intent, and that intent is to make money. Of course, every business person is in it to make money, but at the same time, you'll find much more variety and creativity among independent operators. And, maybe, some of them are doing it because it's something they love, rather than a way to fatten the bottom line for next quarter's report. Thus, the whole hipster prejudice against the corporate world is simply a desire for something original, "genuine" and, frankly, interesting. So I don't think there's anything whatsoever silly about hoping that we could have something other than this silly Live! concept. Whether that hope is realistic or not is another question.

You do have to keep in mind that what you are describing as "corporate" is a blanket statement and at this point in my personal life I have a nice view on both ends of this idea and I can see the benefits in taking a "basement" idea and turning it into something that turns into a very profitable product....nobody starts out with a business idea thinking "I hope this idea doesnt sell and I lose my house over it!" People start these small companies like Starbucks in hopes that it turns into a success and in turn makes them alot of money so they can do all the things they dreamed about. Also, even the small companies have target audiences...if you dont have one, you dont have a product to sell.

Now keep in mind, I am not saying this in defense of whether Live! is a good idea or not, I am just making a general point.

As for the Rose Garden, one must understand that at its current state, nothing organic is going to happen there. No one tower is going to be built there and create a trickle effect in development. That area is so cut off from the city (in pedestrian mindset that is) that the area will need a blanket development, so something like Live! could very well be a good idea if it is done with the mindset to allow people to move through and within the area freely. Now as for the establishments that should be in something like this, is a whole other thing.


Now if this was a Walmart development, I would be totally against it because of Walmart's way of drowning their competition, which is a very unhealthy practice. In this case we are talking chain restaurants mostly (actually, at the moment it is completely). Chain restaurants and independent local restaurants are the same thing, in the sense that they both serve food and they both have had someone construct each dish. Beyond that, the big difference is advertising. I dont go to chain restaurants here because there is so much good local food, but it doesnt mean that I have never been to them or havent liked the food at any one of them.

Also another thing to keep in mind, something like this might actually attract people into downtown that would not normally come downtown anyway...or those people that come into town only for parades and camp downtown a day before (though they annoy me more than anything...but that is a different story). Diversity is a good thing to have downtown.

PF Chang's hasnt killed the Pearl yet.

MightyAlweg Apr 11, 2009 10:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bvpcvm (Post 4189262)
Re: MightyAlweg's comments about his favorite chain restaurants (and going back to his comments last year about how wonderful service is in hotels in Japan vs Portland): dude, I SO don't get you. But rock on anyway.

For what it's worth, LA Live! restaurants have about a 50/50 mix of national firms like Wolfgang Puck and Trader Vic's and Flemings, and local restauranteurs like Conga Room, Katsuya, or The Farm. That's been a succesful model for the Live! developments, mixing upscale chains with some local businesses. I think the allegation that LA Live! is cookie-cutter "Anywhere USA" is not quite fair.

Now granted, none of the local places in LA Live! is the first one in the area. Rather, these are restaurants that have two or three other locations around metro LA and have been around for a few years. It would take sufficient capital and experience to go into an expensive development like Live! anyway, so first time restauranteurs aren't going to make it. But they are truly "local" businesses that are very tiny compared to the Olive Gardens and Claimjumpers of the world. If that helps any. :)

(For the record, I may not be hip enough to refrain from sticking up for succesful national businesses, but at least I don't eat at Olive Garden. :yuck: I mean you have to draw the line somewhere!)

Katsuya is my favorite at LA Live! because it's very high quality Japanese food served perfectly, but they also had Phillipe Starck design the dining space for it and the two Katsuyas I've been to look awesome. There are three earlier Katsuyas around the LA metro area, and LA Live! is now their fourth location.

In theory, a Portland Live! may have two or three national chain restaurants, and then two or three locally owned restaurants. That seems to be the model the Live! folks use. Maybe Papa Haydn goes for a third location at Portland Live?

And if I'm the only one here who remembers Portland's first Trader Vic's off the lobby of the Benson Hotel, then that truly is a shame. It would be nice to see Vic's make a triumphant return to Portland Live! after a 20+ year absence, as Trader Vic's was once a real PDX hot spot. I'm sure many other Portlanders over the age of 40 remember it well.

MightyAlweg Apr 11, 2009 10:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by urbanlife (Post 4189655)

PF Chang's hasnt killed the Pearl yet.

Well, their lettuce wraps are consistently good, and they do a gin cocktail now called the Chinese 88 that is fantastic! They are good for something. :D

philopdx Apr 11, 2009 3:26 PM

I understand the spirit of the argument when people express displeasure at having an overwhelming, glittering corporate presence at the Rose Garden.

I also understand that all big corporations were well-run small corporations at one point, and that castigating large corporations for nothing more than being large is sort of asinine (the 'South Park' argument :D ).

However, there is certainly a qualitative difference between the business practices of most national giants and smaller, more nimble concerns.

For one, can you tell me one national chain restaurant where I can get Czech food? Bento? Fresh sushi? Authentically Spicy Thai? Bi-Bim-Bop or Kimchi? Ethiopian flat bread and vegetables? Masala or Tandoori? Pochero or Kaldereta (Filipino)? Jerk chicken - I mean REAL jerk chicken?

During my business travels I've been to 48 states and about 160 cities, and let me tell you, it's a wasteland out there. There's nothing but chains with 1,500 calorie blooming-onions or chicken in a bun that tastes exactly the same no matter if the name says Applebee's or O'Charley's or Ruby Tuesday's or Chili's or The Cheesecake Factory or Bennigan's or T.G.I. Friday's or Olive Garden or Red Lobster.

I got to the point where seeing a Subway was a religious experience, since I knew that I wouldn't have to throw half my meal away and it wouldn't precipitate arteriosclerosis!!

So, in sum, while I admire large business for being successful, I can completely identify with the "elitists" out there who like a more authentic, local experience.

Maybe the best solution has already been articulated, in that we can have a few nationally-known chain-food schlep-shops there to draw in the middle-aged, Cadillac and Hummer with "drill baby drill" bumper-sticker driving, distended-belly, Miller-Lite drinking, Mid-West and Mid-South suburb-living account managers whose glory days blew by them in their Junior year of high school so they can spend liberally on their middle-aged, easy to impress vendors who had their best time ever at the Excalibur buffet line in Vegas in 2006.

Meanwhile, the rest of us get a nice selection of local and ethnic fare to enjoy on warm summer evenings by the ball park.

Problem solved!!

bvpcvm Apr 11, 2009 3:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by philopdx (Post 4189866)
Maybe the best solution has already been articulated, in that we can have a few nationally-known chain-food schlep-shops there to draw in the middle-aged, Cadillac and Hummer with "drill baby drill" bumper-sticker driving, distended-belly, Miller-Lite drinking, Mid-West and Mid-South suburb-living account managers whose glory days blew by them in their Junior year of high school so they can spend liberally on their middle-aged, easy to impress vendors who had their best time ever at the Excalibur buffet line in Vegas in 2006.

^ well done :haha:


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