This is David Dysert's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following David Dysert's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
David Dysert
Portland, OR
Recent Activity
what timing Brian. We must be on the same wavelength. my op ed in the Tribune: http://portlandtribune.com/pt/10-opinion/215749-74963-my-view-old-town-chinatown-needs-a-vibrant-mix
This is a great addition to the neighborhood. It may be a bit of an overstatement to say this is a new connection between neighborhoods--Burnside to Stark is really the same place--albeit Burnside is much less friendly and serves as a barrier in many ways. "Bridging" Burnside to truly connect the neighborhoods is happening incrementally by the uses that border the street; uses that incent one to cross. In that sense Union Way will help to connect the Pearl and its far too long lesser sister hood. It is exciting to see the West End develop. I’m not sure many view the Brewery Blocks and Powell’s as distinct from the Burnside edge of the West End. Burnside is more of a perceived barrier separating what is quickly becoming a significant retail district than a boundary separating neighborhoods. As a Pearl resident I try to encourage people to think of my neighborhood more as a part of downtown rather than a separate enclave. Union Way is a beautiful design and a bold move, but it's impact is likely to be limited given it is only one block long (and locked up at night preventing the urban pastime of window shopping). A re-styled Morgan's Alley if you will. The nod to the alleys of Paris and Tokyo is just that, a nod. What makes the alleys of those cities more interesting--and important--is they often form a network of many blocks threading an alternate means of navigating a part of the city. I view Union Way as more about the play between permeability and separateness rather than connection. The handpicked high end shops do not line the public street as other shops do. They are cloistered in a controlled aesthetic separate from mundane streetscape, quietly facing each other. It's hard to believe the guests of the ACE need this clever alley to discover the behemoth of Powell’s is a mere block away... The collection of shops is impressive however it may be a missed opportunity to not locate a restaurant on the Burnside front given it is the side that is most challenged in terms of "place". (it would be nice to get some more eyes on the street to soften the boulevard) This may explain why the developers proposed eliminating the turn lane that separates the Pod sculpture island from the Super Supplements parking lot to create a "plaza" sidewalk extension. I like this idea. Pearl-bound cars needing to cross the great wall that is Burnside may not... All in all I’m thrilled this project(both Union Way and the company) is here. Project^ with BlackBox and now Union Way is helping to mitigate Burnside as a barrier and knit vital parts of downtown Portland together—and, I might add, without the help of the costly Burnside Couch Couplet.
I agree a purposeful designed "zone" would be preferable to temporary barricades. But the city has no intention of shutting down these streets permanently. They want to temper the negative effects of the late night activity. The emphasis on design while important is largely not the issue in this part of town. Yes we need more economically diverse housing--of course! But it's not an accident it's not there. This area is an intense concentration of social services and late night partying. And while the social services are very important they need to be dispersed over a greater geography for this area to be developed to its full potential. It is the uses not the design that will determine the future of this area. Instead of the city spending millions on Burnside/Couch or other infrastructure design, we should spend money on economic assistance for business to locate here and social services to relocate to underserved areas of the city. The "entertainment zone" is located here precisely because of the vacuum of development. It is not the problem (beyond the public safety issues). Spending money on a designed entertainment zone is putting the cart before the horse. We need to get the mix of uses right first. If we do, we are likely to find the "entertainment" has left the area for a more accommodating part of town.
couldn't agree more Charles. Another project that is very interesting but suffers from the same panel problem in a big way is Bside6 on east burnside. The light is not kind to the west side of that building. re: the Janey when you look at the ribbon of metal panel just above the retail windows where the signage is i can't believe it was allowed to be installed in such a poor manner. surely there are superior options with similar cost.
Watching grandfathered surface parking lots stubbonly remain in tact as fabric buidings are torn down--often replaced by 5 over 1 wood framed buildings...a sad trend indeed (the Culver a wonderful counter to this). Unfortunately one of the biggest culprits is not the greedy developer...it's our fear of the big one--the cost to retrofit is too expensive and more creative solutions are required (greater public subsidy not likely)or we will lose more and more. By no means does this let TMT off the hook. Granted their development has contributed to the economic vitality of downtown. (Let's not take for granted the risks taken--one only needs to see the hole behind Nordstrom) Unfortunately their aesthetic contributions have been less successful. Director Park however is a true urban contribution. The Twelve West building is a large part of why the Culver building was redeveloped. And while the Food Cart Block is very Portland 2013, that surface lot redveloped could prove similarly catalytic for the Cornelius and similar adjacent buidlings. The irony is Porland's lackluster economy is largely responsible for the amount of fabric buidlings still standing. That was luck. Let's use brains to keep them standing.
David Dysert is now following Brian Libby
Apr 17, 2013
David Dysert is now following The Typepad Team
Apr 16, 2013