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The other proposals, from what I could see, were never really considered- the notion that an adaptive reuse would necessarily destroy the building seems like a baseless assumption, since there was never any 'due diligence' effort to look at finding ways to reuse the building without removing or destroying the bowl or the exterior. I fully believe that it's possible, having been in the building many times, and to think that all of the design talent in this city couldn't have devised a solution to this is not exactly the greatest compliment to our local architectural community. My point earlier was not really that you were somehow acting as a mouthpiece for the Blazers, Brian, but rather that nothing other than the status quo was thoroughly considered because nothing else really had a chance. With the Blazers contractually able to veto any prospective uses that they didn't like or consider contrary to the best interests of the team and the Rose Garden, there really wasn't another plan that could be implemented. Given that, the 'idea generation' phase seems like nothing more than window dressing. It's a shame that you weren't blogging and organizing during the planning and design of the Rose Garden, since that seems like it would have been the ideal time to discuss the merits and meaning of the MC, before the new facility cast a pretty deep shadow of obsolescence on what's really a well-designed and unique facility. I hope I'm wrong, and that one day soon I'll be sitting in a renovated glorious glass palace eating crow and enjoying an $8 beer while watching something other than a tractor pull or a Styx concert. I also hope that Brian's new seat at the mayor's table will help him ensure that this City-run 'preservation' effort doesn't result in any rooftop neon roses...
Brian- First of all, you should know that I'd stopped reading this blog quite a while ago due to getting quite tired of the non-stop soapbox sermons about the Coliseum and only today checked back to see if you'd moved on. Too bad. But since you're still fixated, I have to say that your current post made me laugh at your bias on the issue-- can you imagine what you would be writing and doing if the City had even taken the time to consider (let alone implement) one of the non-Blazer, non-status quo proposals? You'd be relentlessly blogging against the decision and trying to get time in the local media to voice your objections. Since the 'pure preservation' route was selected, you want everyone else to move on, even though, from all appearances, nothing positive is yet happening. There haven't yet been new signs installed at the I-5 and I-84 off-ramps marking the way to Jumptown, and the cranes aren't exactly swinging. I also take umbrage with your cloaking your vantage point on the issue with terms that make it seem like the status quo is the best for everyone-- highlighting 'sustainability' and 'Veteran's'-- we could do a lot more for veterans than put the word on the front of an empty coliseum. If this facility had been given an adaptive reuse such as the sports and recreation plan, veterans could have been recognized with free membership, training, physical therapy, etc. And to say that it's the most sustainable option to continue to heat and cool this 1950s glass box when there's an arguably superior facility next door (function, systems, and capacity- not aesthetics) seems a little weak. Maybe you could tag on 'Cesar Chavez's name to make sure you've totally stacked the deck. As long as the control of this facility is in the hands of the Blazers, things will stay as they are. After neglecting this building for so long, it's ridiculous to think that suddenly there going to realize what a gem they have and start treating it with TLC. If the City is planning on paying for renovations while leaving the Blazers in control, that's a total sucker move and a waste of resources that will make the 'Friends of the MC' feel good but not have a bigger effect on the people of Portland, which is something that architecture, particularly civic-supported architecture, should aspire to. I really like this building, so don't think that I'm a 'hater'--- but historic preservation of this type makes little sense to me. Adaptive reuse, particularly one with a higher civic function, makes much more sense. Without that, this building becomes like the old original-style McDonalds up on Powell, near 205-- a cool relic and design icon from a different era. It's younger sibling, uglier but more effective, sits right across the parking lot churning cash for the owner while the relic sits with the lights out.
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Jun 10, 2011