Trying to encourage historic preservation in Portland can be a lonely and depressing task. Yet when something positive happens, all the effort is worth it.
If you wonder why the Portland Bureau of Parks and Recreation did not announce this pleasing result it is because the bureau opposed the nomination from the start and tried its best to derail it in a series of public meetings. Some park bureau critics think the bureau wanted to turn over six of the blocks to Portland State University as part of a strategy to cut maintenance costs.
Commissioner Ryan deserves praise for being the first city commissioner to announce political support for the fountain. Journalist and architecture critic Brian Libby also has been strongly supportive. The public should thank former City Commissioner Mike Lindberg and dedicated citizens Stephen Kafoury and Henry Kunowski for their work in approaching the levers of city power.
The ad hoc Friends of the Thompson Elk Fountain want the city government to take four actions:
---Withdraw the pending application to withdraw the fountain as a historic landmark;
---Restore the entire artwork, including the fountain, troughs, pedestal and the elk and recreate any missing pieces consistent with National Park Service preservation standards;
---Restore the landmark artwork to its original location on SW Main Street;
---Address roadway improvements after the restoration.
Concern about the fountain’s future remains. The PPF board took notable action in trying to reach a conclusion about the fountain's fate. However, preservation is far from assured. The study committee is expected to look at other options in addition to historic restoration; one "preservation" member on the committee could easily be out-voted. We hope the PPF board will be both diligent and vigilant as this process moves forward.
We all lose if we give up on what made us what we are.
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Fred a great run of two years of keeping the flame burning for historic preservation in Portland. Thanks for all you have done!ReplyDelete
You credit everyone else here; I hope you will also get kudos for your tireless work! This blog, your leadiership of a very active committee, your ability to summon the right people to do the right thing - you live and breathe historic preservation. Portland is very lucky to have you! I thank you sincerely, and look forward to more of your important work.ReplyDelete
This is very encouraging news. As said above, thank you for all that you've done and for letting the powers that be know why historic preservation is important.ReplyDelete
Restore the entire artwork, including the fountain, troughs, pedestal and the elk and recreate any missing pieces consistent with National Park Service preservation standardsReplyDelete
this is a fantastic blogReplyDelete