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Portland Business

One of the small things that makes Portland a nicer place to live that most places in the states is a small cardre of business owners who aren’t so focused on growth that they grind their employees into meat bits.

Case in point: If a New York based resturant owner was to come to Portland, they’d immediatly start lobbying to recind the minimum wage for servers since they get tips (the state of affairs in most other places).

In Portland? There’s resturant owners who want the city to require that employees have paid sick leave. It’s not that Portland’s a workers paradise or anything (this is America after all), but there are small pockets where even people making lower middle class to poverty level wages can claim a bit of human dignity.

Shadowhouse Collectibles

This is the former site of Shadowhouse Collectibles, in the 4200 block of Hawthorne Avenue. It was your typical and delightful junk store that was filled to the brim with a collection that looked like it was a coping mechanism for a single man or woman’s devil dogs. It was also one of the first places on Hawthorne Avenue I ever visited.

I asked at the desk what it happened to Shadowhouse and the clerk told me the owner, John Maurer, had passed away. The small obituary on this page makes is sound like he died of a staph infection, possibly complicated by no health insurance.

Moving History

This is SE Hawthorne, between 26th and 27th Ave. That’s 2607 SE Hawthorne Blvd and 2625 SE Hawthorne Blvd to be specific.

For as long as I’ve lived here this block has had two old houses that were serving as office parks. At some point in early November, fences went up around the two houses, with workers stripping at least one for usable building material. Based on the banner, I assumed both houses were being town down.

A little digging into Portland Maps reveals the block was purchased by “PHA Venture LLC ET AL Investment Development Management LLC”. (It looks like the block is actually three lots.) This blurb from The Business Journal indicates PHA Venture is planning on building a four story, 77-unit mixed use building. That’s condos on top, businesses in the bottom for people new to the area. The Daily Journal of Commerce (DJC) had a more detailed article about what’s going on, but it’s behind a pay-wall.

I’m not sure what’s happened to 2607 SE Hawthorne Blvd — it appears to have vanished into thin air, but the house at 2625 SE Hawthorne Blvd has been moved to the parking lot behind The Dharma Rain Zen Center on Madison, currently without an address. According to the Portland Preservation blog and this city memo, the house at 2607 has already been destroyed, but the house at 2625 SE Hawthorne Blvd (“The Montgomery House”) was saved by the The Buckman HAND neighborhood association.

These sort of issues are why I’ve stared this website. Part of what drew me to Portland was the benign neglect that creates a city of beautiful old houses no one tore down because, frankly, no one with money gave a sh—t. But I was also drawn to the city because it’s vibrant, changing, and dynamic — exactly the opposite of the fronzen tundra and crumbling infrastructure of western NY. These desires are at odds with one another, and that feels worth talking about.