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Bucolic view killed by new apartments
It seems that not a day goes by without onlookers coming to see the travesty known as the Castlegate Apartments, Northeast 148th Avenue and Rose Parkway. It also seems not a day goes by that we who live around this travesty don’t lament the good old days when the Van Buren field was aplomb [sic] with activity of growing, watering and caring for farm produce—an exemplary part of neighborhood life as it should be enjoyed in this area. The City of Portland dealt our neighborhood a cowardly hand when the zoning of that property changed. If at all, we should be looking at single-family homes with astounding views held intact and not butchered, instead of these three-story travesties.
Argay Terrace resident
For more than two years, I have seen that Gateway Discovery Park is all Portland Development Commission (PDC)/Prosper Portland will allow in our urban renewal regional center. I have seen the opportunity to restore public participation and hope in democracy at all levels of government, if the public could prevail, in a bigger vision. That vision might come from vision experts at Snøhetta (an international architecture, landscape architecture, interior design and brand design office based in Oslo, Norway, and New York City), who are now reimagining OMSI and Willamette Falls public access.
My vision for the area conflicts with the reckless sell-off south of Northeast Pacific Street green spaces that cannot succeed in vehicle-dependent mixed-use developments (“Mixed-use community proposed for 10.5-acre site in Gateway,” MCM July 2018) due to intense commuter traffic and other conflict with parking. The mixed-use concept blocks a mandatory multi-use path to the Gateway Transit Center from 102nd Avenue.
My vision of Gateway
Wonderful and important things should happen right at the Gateway Transit Center (GTC). Transit crossings in any city are natural sites of democratic action where people of all means may connect with government services—and each other. The GTC was and still is where we may meet up, leaving our cars for a Columbia Gorge hike. It should be an anytime meeting place for hiking and biking groups, without abusing otherwise-designated parking lots. The GTC can be so much more, beginning with the take-back of the Oregon Clinic parking lot, which is still ours. On that lot, then, there could be a beautiful but very practical “Gateway Building,” like downtown’s U.S. Bancorp Tower.
A main public services center 30 stories above ground is topped by a three-story glass structure shaped and illuminated as the new Gateway Arch. This topper is a complex of restaurants and coffee shops important to travelers making airport connections by train and popular with young people especially as a dating hangout safely reached by public transit. Somewhere in the building is a multi-plex movie theater. A 10-story advanced education center to the south is an extension facility for advanced public education of all kinds.
There is space under the Gateway Building of the maximum practical depth that serves as classrooms and much more: uses that do not conflict with service as a disaster relief area. Invest in a regional shelter east of I-205, reported to be the safest place in the event of an anticipated earthquake.
Weekdays, much of the space is used for early childhood education, of service to GTC workers and commuters. In the summer and year-round on weekends, space serves many camper programs for people of all ages, superior to anything else in Portland in service by safe, public transit.
Gateway Plaza is an open pedestrian bridge capping Northeast 99th Avenue, Pacific Street and the Fred Meyer parking lot for safe Oregon Clinic, Gateway Building and GTC passage from Gateway Park, parking garages and area shopping.
The weekend-long farmer’s market is held on this plaza, among kiosks and other Gateway Building restaurants and transit amenities including bike rentals, storage and repair. Casual EV car rentals are available for travelers employing public transit, perhaps then choosing to stay at Gateway Hotel off the plaza to the south. Ground-level facilities engage with tour bus and rental car pickups/drop-offs with safe passage of camper groups busing to their off-site activity of the day. From the plaza, you can descend stairs and elevators to Gateway Park tennis courts, soccer fields, picnic facilities and playgrounds. The park is bordered by hundreds of desirable housing units of very great value, helping with the affordability of the overall project.
Other citizens sharing hope of developments at the Gateway Transit Center can reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.