Monday, May 16, 2011

Salem Bike Map Points to Lost Garden

The great thing about bikes is that they lead to adventure! Going by bike is a great way to explore new parts of town and new places. But sometimes bikes lead to armchair adventures.

How closely do you look at your maps?

Like many maps, the Salem Bike Map has some crazy vestigial information still on it and in its antecedent files.

North of the Fairgrounds, south of the Kroc Center, and on the edge of the Northgate neighborhood is a cryptic note: "(Rose Gardens) / Public Street"

Have you ever noticed this?* Did Salem have a fabulous rose garden in the north??? So many questions demanded answers!

Current conditions aren't helpful. The area along Portland Road is a field. Whatever was there was leveled and abandoned. (Note the bike salmon in this bike-difficult area.)

But it was once a motel, called the Rose Gardens. (Thank you postcard collectors!)

It had roses:
On spacious landscaped grounds with rose gardens featuring 25 varieties of roses. 22 Units, including 6 with kitchens, are beautifully furnished with Myrtlewood furniture and are immaculately clean. Free TV. Showers and bathtubs, garages, and quiet, off the highway location. Electric heat, individually controlled. Reasonable rates.
Who knows actually how big and glorious were the rose gardens. We have to allow for some marketing hoopla, of course. Nevertheless, it points to a time before the Interstate when Portland Road was 99E and the main highway. And when more charm and residential amenities were intermixed with the industry - before the blight that is there now.

And it turns out that it is one of three parcels on which the SCI program has focused redevelopment studies. The parcel is called the Epping property. Two teams, one formed of graduate students, one of undergraduate students, worked on proposals.

Maybe it can one day become a garden again!

* I had not, but a reader had, and expert googling turned up most of the research here. Thanks!

The other SCI projects are on Second Street (here and here) and on the car dealerships clustered at Division and Liberty NE (here, here, and here).

Do you know of other bike map arcana? Drop a note in the comments!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

It's the name of an old "motor court" that was demolished a few years back.