Change threatens real loss. The tension between historic preservation and infill redevelopment can be mitigated, but it is real. To make neighborhoods more walkable, to minimize the carbon footprint of neighborhoods, and increase the supply of affordable housing means necessarily that the texture of intact single-family residential neighborhoods cannot remain unaltered. Here in Salem we have seen how our Historic Districts have been created with withstand "encroachment," but it is increasingly clear that some elements of encroachment will ultimately be necessary.
Still, it is unseemly for a stranger to walk around town cheering upzoning without also thinking about why some might not welcome it. So even as it was interesting to consider upzoning in Eugene's close-in neighborhoods, it was also meaningful to consider what might be lost - and what already has been lost. Eugene has a rich history and, with the help of a terrific guide, it was by turns delightful and sad to think about it while walking and biking.
|Gothic Revival Mims House on High Street|
The Mims house, located at 330 and 336 High Street in Eugene, served as a refuge for countless African Americans who otherwise couldn’t reside in the city because of Eugene’s exclusionary practices in the 1940s.
|KKK and cross on Skinner Butte, 1921|
Looking north on Willamette Street from 8th Avenue
(via Daily Emerald)
Both of the Mims Houses are old, and one of them is also a rare example of a Gothic Revival. Eugene it happens has a few of them - more than Salem, which I think has only the David McCulley House.
Another terrific example of Gothic Revival is the A.V. Peters House on 10th and Pearl.
|A.V. Peters House, circa 1870 (University of Oregon)|
|Shelton-McMurphey House above the Depot|
|There are few at-grade crossings|
(from the Washington St footbridge)
|Of the three blockages on Willamette, two are still active|
But perhaps the barrier at the roundabout is old. A streetcar map with routes active around 1910-1920 shows one on Willamette Street in red with a turnaround between the Southern Pacific (Amtrak) and Oregon Electric Depots. (You can see the tracks in that 1921 photo above. The map also shows the Blair streetcar and ones on 11th and Willamette. It will be interesting to learn if the meanders on the west side of the Green route point to any vestigial streetcar commercial clusters today.)
|Early 20th Century Streetcar Routes in Eugene|
detail, via Oregon Encyclopedia
|New Frontier Market, 10th and Van Buren (via Facebook)|
About New Frontier, in a note about "missing middle" housing and zoning, the Walkable Eugene Citizens Advisory Network, WECAN Eugene, writes
One of the largest areas of R-2 [a medium level of residential density] zoning, in the Jefferson Westside neighborhood just outside of downtown, recently had a special area zone put in place that created limits on the ability to create missing middle housing within that area as well. Furthermore, it prohibits zone changes to C-1 community commercial—despite the fact that the New Frontier Market is a key example of the type of mixed use commercial that is appropriate in a walkable neighborhood, further neighborhood corner stores are prohibited under the special area zone. While it is easier to create lower-density missing middle housing, like twins and secondary dwelling units, in the Jefferson-Westside Special Area zone than it is in R-1 zoning, the ability to create medium-density missing middle housing, like triplexes and rowhouses/townhomes is blocked.So, again, it's not possible to have an opinion about what is best or right here, but it is important to note that walkable, lower-carbon land use and development also requires nearby clusters of commercial services, like corner stores, and it will not alway be possible - or even desirable - to retain unbroken swaths of residential neighborhood fabric, historic or new. We want sometimes to argue that there is something "integral" about the unbroken fabric, but in fact is it an historic artifact of autoism, which allowed different land uses to be spaced much farther apart.
The Sunday Streets route was right by the old Masonic Cemetery, and there happened to be a concert in the mausoleum, part of their "Music to Die For" series.
The cemetery is not very tightly fenced, and has multiple access points. Bicycling is fine on the graveled main road, but not permitted on the bark mulch path system. There are bike racks!
Like Mount Crest Abbey at City View, the mausoleum was also designed by Ellis Lawrence. While Hope Abbey has not been expanded or altered the way Mount Crest has been, and the Egyptian Revival styling is a little more exotic and interesting than Mount Crest's classicism, it must be said that City View's setting is grander and altogether superior! Hope Abbey is crammed in a little on the side of the hill, and it doesn't have quite the same vista from the top of a small ridge.
|Hope Abbey's main entry|
|Informational sign for Mary Boise Spiller|
There are probably lots of other Salem-Eugene linkages like that!
Some signage like this could be very nice in our Pioneer Cemetery - but of course there's always the question of who will do it and how will it be paid for and maintained.
The Eugene Masonic Cemetery Association [formed in 1993] is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization with a Board of Directors, a Cemetery Administrator, a Site Manager, and a Groundskeeper.The streetcar map appears to show a segment of rail running through the northeast corner of the cemetery, and it would be interesting to see if there are any tracks remaining. Some of the houses on the back side of the cemetery appear to be aligned over former streets that now seem to be vacated - as if they had been on streetcar tracks a century ago.
As Envision Eugene unfolds, it will be interesting to follow it peripherally and to see in particular how they balance the need for lower-carbon, increased density in the walkable core, and the values of historic preservation in those same older neighborhoods.
First Part, with notes on Blair Boulevard, more on zoning, and Sunday Streets itself here.