January 11, 2007
This post on Cabel Sasser’s blog about the Apple Store that, after years of back-and-forth with the Landmarks Commission in town and various city entities, is probably not going to be built, from what seems to boil down to people not liking interesting, new, or different things.
This hits on a theme I’ve seen around the community a lot lately. Signs here in my neighborhood of Buckman beg neighbors to take up arms against a new local condo building that will contain “concrete and glass.” Residents of my former neighborhood, Mississippi, made such a stink against the proposed headquarters for a local, progressive architecture firm that it almost didn’t get built, and is going forward with a modified, diluted design. I’ve seen myriad proposed modern structures that have been neutered during the planning hearings into brick-faced suburb-imitators (I subscribe to the city’s blog that churns out these sorts of documents).
What gives, Portland? Why are we so stodgy when it comes to architecture? Why do we have to remain so milquetoast and careful?
It’s not that I want to mow down every historically significant building in town in pursuit of some sort of aggrandized “progress,” but I think evolving architecture is part of what makes cities human and wonderful.