What excites you about Foster Powell?

What excites you about living in Foster-Powell?  That was the question we all had to ask each other at this week’s FOPONA meeting on Monday, along with another important question:  what do you hope to get out of the neigborhood meetings?  Far from the typical, “state your name and whether you’re a resident or business owner” introductions, this was a little more thought provoking, and resulted in a variety of responses.  Most people expressed excitement over a growing sense of community, while some talked about the potential of the neighborhood (businesses opening along Foster, community gardens, etc).  Diversity was also discussed, especially as a point of pride, as well as a source of identity which helps us stand out from many other Portland neighborhoods.  This point was driven home when the director of Holgate library spoke about the increased circulation of Vietnamese, Russian, and Chinese books and media, while the Spanish circulation remained high, as well.  In fact, of the four aforementioned languages, only two library branches within Multnomah County reached their target circulation for each language: Holgate and Midland.  This speaks to the growing Russian and Eastern European population, as well as the formidable Hispanic community and increasing number of Chinese and Southeast Asian immigrants.  Yes, Foster-Powell, we have what many other neighborhoods in Portland have lost or are losing…diversity.  Let’s embrace and promote, everyone.

As for the varying reasons people show up to the meetings, the common theme was concern about land use and development, crime (updates from a PPD representative), and to meet and network with other FOPO residents.  A lot of people also expressed a desire to better organize as a group in order to bring about positive change to the neighborhood (getting city and urban renewal funds diverted to FOPO, neighborhood cleanup, and fundraisers).

Perhaps these are issues that are important to you reading at home.  If they are, or you have some of your own, and don’t come to the meetings, please know that all are welcome and encouraged to attend.  Mark your calanders for the second Monday of every month.  We meet at Sweetness Bakery (SE 52nd Ave between Powell and Lafayette), from 6:30-8. 

In the meantime, think about what excites you about living in Foster-Powell, and how you can use the neigbhborhood association to better the area we make home.

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12 Responses to What excites you about Foster Powell?

  1. LindaG says:

    Thanks for the efforts to set this up and also summarize the meeting, which I unfortunately had to miss :(Now I feel like I didn’t miss so much — the layout and posts here look great! Thanks again–

  2. Greg says:

    Can’t wait to see who ends up buying the old Bob White Theater. Here’s a link to an old picture of the theater (scroll down to see.) http://pdxhistory.com/html/portland_theaters.html

  3. Jeffrey says:

    Agreed. That would be a total boost for the neighborhood. I feel like we’re close enough, that just a little more investment would open the door for a lot more growth along Foster Road. Getting a theater could do that.

  4. Co in So Fo Po says:

    I have wondered about that space before–thanks for the educational link, Greg. I’m hoping to get a story together about the history of the theater… maybe a little visibility on this site would attract an awesome tenant? I wish I could be that awesome tenant… if only I had an extra $800K lying around!

  5. Ben says:

    I would love any and all information I can get about this place. Anyone have contact information for the sale of the property, etc? I have scoured the net and little info is around.

  6. Co in So Fo Po says:

    I have heard that the space is pretty trashed, since the previous owner lived in it. Of course, that’s hearsay, so you never really know if it’s 100 % true.Ben, I believe There is a sign on the building with contact info for the realtors. Please buy this building and let my band play in it.🙂 Thanks.

  7. b.d. says:

    I’ve been inside of the theater. Needs a lot of work, but still has a ton of character. The entrance is on the street next to Bar Carlo, with the main theater space running parallel to Bar Carlo but behind it. It also has a huge warehouse space beyond the theater, with two levels of mezzanine. Really cool space but needs a ton of work (looked like there were some major roof problems).

  8. Jeremy T. says:

    I’ve always been fascinated by this building. I never knew its original name, though. But now that I do I started digging around and found some stuff: http://www.pstos.org/instruments/or/portland/haskin.htm http://cinematreasures.org/theater/5147/There’s video of the interior and an interview with the former owner here (starting at about 2:43):

    Apparently there was quite a saga with the owner / resident, one Dale Haskins (or Haskin — I’ve seen it spelled both ways), being in conflict with the city over the fire code in 2002… and he has now passed away — thus the building is on the market. Apparently Haskins was semi-well known in the pipe organ community on the West Coast, so there is some information about him and the building.What a story! I’m going to try and find out more about it.Any tidbits, anyone?–JT

  9. Jeremy T. says:

    Further fascinating info…I just got off the phone with Tom D’Antoni, the music journalist whose video I linked to in my previous post about the Bob White Theater. He’s going to pursue and write a story for his web page, http://oregonmusicnews.com/, about the whole deal.He said Haskin’s daughter has already done a lot of work cleaning the place out.He also mentione he’s already found out that someone is trying to form a foundation to restore the building (as a movie theater? As a concert space? As a monument to Dale Haskin? Who knows?). I don’t have any more detail about it than that. Anyway, he said he’d keep me informed about it as he learns anything. And I will certainly pass along anything I hear to y’all.I’d love to support such an effort.–JT

  10. Co in So Fo Po says:

    Jeremy, I’m still working on the editing permission settings… but thanks a bunch for this detective work! I am fascinated by this building, and the idea of a foundation is brilliant! I can’t wait to read your updates.🙂

  11. Jeremy T. says:

    Thanks, Coleen!I haven’t heard / been able to find anything else about it, but Tom said he was going to pursue the story, so I’m hoping to hear more from him soon.If we could get a theater in there and something (a McMenamin’s, anyone?) in the Pheonix building, we’d be there, I think…–JT

  12. bryn at bob white says:

    I have been working for the new owner of the bob white for the past month. Clearing out the warehouse for art studios and giving the theater the love it needs to come back to life. I am excited to go to work everyday and am convinced it will breath life into the FoPo. We are there everyday any interest or support is welcome.

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