|House II by Michael Brophy|
Hallie Ford Museum of Art
One of the paintings is this demolished house by Michael Brophy. He paints lots of forests, so this is in one sense a scene of a forest transformed, the end of a group of trees (maybe final, maybe not - maybe it's merely a moment in process and will be subject to still more transformation, become fuel or salvaged for example, but I read the ruin mainly as waste rather than as a site of creativity and potential).
|Modest Four-Square demolished this week|
As you can see it is surrounded by parking and presumably will become an extension of the existing parking lots.
In February according to the paper,
OSBA executive director Betsy Miller-Jones said the association wanted the 19-space parking lot, which is directly behind OSBA’s current office near the state Capitol. The association won’t use or rent out the building, she said.This stretch of 13th is really getting hollowed out. Last fall, a block to the north, a former medical clinic designed by Pietro Belluschi was also demolished. The blocks between 12th/RR and 13th are an awkward buffer between the residential neighborhood and the insitutional uses of Willamette and the State of Oregon.
“Particularly during legislative session, parking is in short supply,” Miller-Jones said.
|Belluschi clinic last year|
Some day, some American city will discover the Malthusian truth that the greater number of automobiles, the less the city can accommodate them without destroying itself. The downtown that turns itself into a parking lot is spreading its own dissolution.How is it that car storage offers greater value - economic and non-economic - than a building and all the exchange and trade and creativity that happens in it?
That is one messed-up Faustian bargain.
|Second Story: Baby Doll Suite|
by Randy Hayes, Hallie Ford Museum of Art
(Oil on photographs - worth a closer look!)
A consolidated application for a proposed 28-unit room and board facility serving up to 75 persons that contains the following requests...change the Salem Area Comprehensive Plan Map designation from "Multiple Family Residential" to "Commercial"...to change the zone district from RM1 (Multiple Family Residential) to CO (Commercial Office)...[and a] Conditional Use Permit request to establish a 28-unit room and board facility...[italics added]This is something new, right? A "proposed" room and board facility - though it seemed strange a boarding house needs "commercial" zoning rather than "multiple family." Whatever. Zoning is strange and too often dumb or counter-intuitive. It didn't look very interesting.
Well. Guess what!
in 2008, a new owner changed the name [of the nursing home] to Church Street Manor and began renting out the property's 28 rooms...So it's not "proposed" at all! It's a going concern that has problems with crime and problems with not being an allowed use for the actual zoning. It just wants to go legit - at least as far as the zoning is concerned.
But you can't tell any of this from the hearing notice.
Too often the City satisfies the letter of the law in making information public, but to heck with the spirit! The hearing notice was pretty much totally opaque, and unless to you have local, neighborhood knowledge, there was no way to know what was actually going on in the hearing.
I think that some critics of the City have gone overboard in accusing them of being "secretive" or of planning "in secret," but it's unquestionably true that the City is too often unhelpful, obfuscating, and not really interested in meaningful and effective outreach.
This is a perfect and absolutely clear example.
(Both paintings were just hung at the Conference Center.)