Wednesday, October 3, 2012

At State Hospital New Bike Parking for Employees; Cremains Memorial Update

Oregon State Hospital

With Nurse Ratched, the Cuckoo's Nest, and the museum opening in the news, it seemed like a good time to check in on the State Hospital.

Though the new construction has included at least 4 bike parking installations, two on the periphery and open to the public, and two other interior sites, they are uncovered and not always conveniently located.

The largest one is outside the physical plant building, but it is uncovered, lacks a curb cut so you can roll into the concrete pad, and is annoyingly distant from the doors, placed on the far edge of the lot, as far away as it can be. It sends more of a second-class message than a new state-of-the-art facility should convey.

Bike Parking at OSH - Exiled Across Lot, Uncovered
At least for employees, it looks like improvements are coming! A Minor Historic Design Review approved two shelters located on the interior of the hospital campus, one 18x10 feet, the other 26x10 feet. 

A number of State Hospital staff ride bikes to work, and there is no reason this new, modern facility should not also have more than the minimum for bike parking.

Building 60 with wall to be modified in shadow

David Maisel, Library of Dust
You may recall the debate over the cremains memorial. The Hearings Officer has issued his decision on the appeal, ruling that the evidence in the appeal was not persuasive, and affirming the decision by the Landmarks Commission.

This will be a fascinating and moving installation, and it will be most interesting to track its progress and its ultimate effect. I can't help but wonder if seeing all the canisters will be a shattering experience, and the site a place for devotions and grief of many kinds, far from the careless tourism some critics feared.

(Indeed, if there is carelessness to be feared, it could be from the way the museum may be milking the pop-culture status of Hollywood and film in order to make a spectacle out of the museum opening.)

1 comment:

B+ said...

I once had a very interesting and painful conversation about this matter with a longtime employee of OSH who had retired from there (he appeared in "One Flew Over"). He was frustrated with the press about the canisters and their condition.

He told me that, while sad about the canisters, he was still angry about the way the state government would not pay for the repair of the broken crematorium the staff at the State Hosptial had to use there for many years. His description of what that entailed is not something I would want to go into here, but it was gruesome. Suffice it to say that employees were detailed to do some pretty dreadful things. His point was that the entire situation, for all involved, was difficult. While he is no longer with us, that conversation still sticks in my mind.