by Val Ballestrem
Last week it seemed Portland would lose yet another wonderful, if not designated, historic house – this time in Willamette Heights. Thankfully, neighbors of the Montague House on NW 32nd stepped in and purchased the home at the 11th hour.
But just as the dust began to settle in the West Hills, comes word of another troubling demolition – this time in Laurelhurst. The home at 3206 NE Glisan is sort of an unofficial landmark, literally standing at the gate to one of Portland’s most beautiful east side neighborhoods. The home has seen better days, that’s for sure, but it is both architecturally and historically significant. It was one of the earliest homes in Laurelhurst, a development that was once farmland owned by the well-known Ladd family. The home was initially built to serve as both an office and residence for the head real estate agent working in Laurelhurst.
According to this document, the house may soon be demolished and replaced by two new homes facing Glisan. It is unclear what this would mean for the landmark Gateway that is adjacent to the home and which was damaged during the construction of a wall at the house several years ago. Here’s a link to the Google street view of the house.
On another note, just down the street is another possible demolition – not of a house, but of one of the few remaining buildings from the era when Sandy Blvd. was dotted with quirky architecture. Club 21, a sort of dive bar at NE 21st and Glisan (just off of Sandy), is faced with possible demolition as plans are in the works for that entire block to be redeveloped with 200 apartment units. It’s perhaps a little-known fact, but this little building was once a second location for Portland’s historic Jake’s restaurant – just as the Great Depression hit Portland in the early 1930s. Here’s a link to the Google street view of the resturant.
We continue to raise awareness of demolitions that are damaging the historic character of Portland neighborhoods, but unless we see action from the City or through legislation at the State level, it will be a nearly impossible battle to save many wonderful buildings from being destroyed. We hope you will help us as we continue spreading the word.