Old drive-ins pose kindof interesting questions. On the one hand, as they reach 50 years of age, the mid-century architecture represents a distinctive style and phase in land use and development history.
On the other hand, yeah: cars.
Lots of empty space devoted to a ritual obeisance to autos, autoism, and food. I don't know if our nostalgia for the 50s and 60s should trump the wasted space they represent. But it's also unwise to bulldoze over our history; today's Mid-century Modern and Atomic Googie was yesterday's Queen Anne, Stick Style, and over-the-top Victorian. Still, the magic is in the streetcar neighborhoods and commercial centers from the early 20th century, not so much in post-war and car-centric suburbanism.
This drive-in, located on the corner of Pine and Broadway NE was built in the early 1960s as the A&B Drive-in. By 1980 it was a Speedy Burger, and now it's Josey's. I imagine it was a bunch of other things, too.
Along with much older properties, it is the kind of building potentially impacted by the Rivercrossing. I'll return to this in additional explorations - this was mostly unplanned and a side product of checking out the Maple/Winter bikeway. But it's worth spending more time on.
There will be real costs to building a ginormous highway and bridge through town, and we cannot minimize the impacts. Other cities are taking out highways - so why are we talking about putting one in?
Will new connections be wrought? Or will it rot a neighborhood?
Here are three maps of the Highland neighborhood. A 3D rendering, a 2D map with the footprint in yellow, and the new bike routes. They aren't to the same scale, but are mostly oriented the same way, a quarter turn to the right, so north is on the right.
Much of the neighborhood is still gridded and it developed mostly between the wars, at the end of the streetcar era. The Parkway, Portland Road, and the two railroads interrupt the grid and are significant barriers.
A highway approach to a large bridge would exacerbate the problems of barriers.
Here's a cut-through at Spruce and Maple. (The intersection of Highland and Church might have been more interesting!) Is it fair to the neighborhood to pile another highway onto the disruption created by the railroad?
Anyway, it was beautiful yesterday evening, and I hadn't been through the neighborhood to see the signs on the Winter/Maple bikeway (in red on the bikeway map). Here's a cut-through along Maple at Biller to Salem Industrial Drive - soon to be known as Auto Group Avenue.
At Maple and Highland is a lovely house.
Off to the right at the other end of the block, and with some whackadoodle mansarded thing, is possibly the most significant house in the neighborhood.
Believe it or not, this was Herbert Hoover's childhood home when he lived in Salem! Virginia Green has written some about it in her timeline of Salem history. You can see an old view with the original roof here.
Almost every block in the neighborhood has one or more old houses. Here are two just off of the Maple bikeway. A modest turn-of-the century farmhouse.
Here's one that's had some remodeling, but its bones are old.
Back on the bikeway, this is one of my wacky favorites! It's an old farmhouse with a mid-century storefront addition! It's also at an intersection with character, Norway, Cottage, and Fairgrounds.
And here's the backside of the Jason Lee church.
Except for the church, these aren't really highlights of the neighborhood. But they are real, they have value, and we shouldn't want to demolish them or ruin the fabric of the neighborhood lightly.
(Here are more of the interesting "local landmarks" in the Highland neighborhood.)