This Is Not

This afternoon, while running a few errands, I found myself standing at the corner of SW 11th and Clay. I stood and I stared, with a certain amount of sadness. I couldn't help thinking...

This is not progress.

This is not a gleaming skyscraper, waiting for excited residents who will turn well crafted urban spaces into condominium homes.

This is not a triumph of design, where a slim parcel of land adds beauty to the Portland skyline.

This is not a way to add diversity to the neighborhood that we refer to as The Cultural District.

This is a waste of land far too valuable to be allowed to languish like this.

This is a fucking insult to Portland.

It's litter.

It's abandoned.

It's forgotten.

But it could - and it should - be so much more.

This abandoned lot is where the Simon Benson House once stood. It literally was moved onto the P.S.U. campus in January of 2000.

This abandoned lot is where Benson Tower is supposed to stand, with twenty six stories of condominiums housed in a steel and glass structure that would make the neighborhood proud.

As I stood there, at the corner of SW 11th and Clay, I watched the sun set on another day - another week - another month - another year - of opportunity lost. On this warm afternoon that hinted of an early Spring, I realized that Benson Tower should be standing before my very eyes. It was scheduled to open mere weeks from now.

Obviously, that won't be happening.

It's not that I could afford to live in Benson Tower were it to be weeks away from completion.

I couldn't.

Hell... at the rate this project is going, maybe I'll be able to afford one of their condos by the time it's actually built.

But that's not the point.

The point - is Portland.

Portland is a wonderful city with so much progress, and so much more potential. But this abandoned lot represents progress not achieved.

And it makes me sad.

::::: | Thursday, Feb 03 2005 at 7:26 PM
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Me! said:

Well, months later, they've finally broken ground on a tower that should have been built by now... with people living in it.

Ahh well... better late than never.

::::: | March 31, 2005 10:26 PM

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