Saturday, June 23, 2007

Doing it wrong

Hillsdale can now see that it will have a new landmark in the form of the five-story tower framed in next to the new Watershed Senior Housing project.

We can also see that for all its good architectural intentions, it will also be a landmark to the failure of the city and the Portland Development Commission to step up and bury utility lines. We are left with poles, transformers and wires marring the view of the new tower.

The vertical structure naturally draws the observer's view upwards. Some of us had even hoped to put a glowing solar-powered beacon at the top. The problem is that what you see above two stories in Hillsdale is evidence of civic aesthetic anarchy and neglect. Overhead utilities like those in our Town Center simply wouldn't be tolerated in The Pearl, South Waterfront of the Lloyd District.

In the spring, after the city put in even more utility lines down Bertha Court, I lobbied City Commissioner Sam Adams about the need to underground around The Watershed, but to no avail. The cost, by the way, was estimated at $125,000. But that's another story told earlier here.

Community Partners for Affordable Housing, the developers, to their credit, even put underground conduits in the ground next to the building, but Qwest and Comcast refused to use them. The city should have stepped in and forced their use.

Until the city opens its eyes the blight here, we are left with a flawed and marred landmark, a symbol of good intentions that failed because of a lack of cooperation and foresight.

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Anonymous Rodrigo said...

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4:31 PM  

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