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SE Uplift’s Big Time Lunch Tour of the Buckman Neighborhood
SE Uplift staff took our bi-weekly Bigtime Lunch Tour to the streets of the Buckman neighborhood on November 19, 2009. Though many of the staff is familiar with the Buckman neighborhood (Both Kristen and Leah have lived in Buckman), there was much to learn about the history of the neighborhood as well as recent happenings. Before we had a lovely tasty lunch at Zell’s Café on Morrison, we took a short tour of the neighborhood.
Our first stop was Colonel Summers Park, one of only two parks within the Buckman neighborhood. We than headed to the center of the East Side Industrial Area. The Central Eastside Industrial Area is a 681acre district spanning from I-84 to Powell Blvd, and from the river to 12th Avenue. This area contains more than 1,222 businesses. This area is in a current state of change as an industrial area so near downtown has become more valuable as residential and commercial property. We also cruised by the Burnside Bridgehead Project. The Burnside Bridgehead Project is envisioned as a mixed-use “gateway” project into the Central Eastside. The project site is situated on four city blocks at the base of the Burnside Bridgehead on the east side of the Willamette River. The project area totals 176,215 square feet. It is located within the Central Eastside Urban Renewal Area, one of the city’s eleven urban renewal areas. The Burnside/Couch Couplet is currently under construction to create one-way streets along the lower portions of Burnside and Couch streets.
We continued our tour with a stop at the Washington High School Community Center site. This building has been vacant since the 1980’s. The Buckman neighborhood has been working with Portland Parks and Recreation for 10 years to design and build a community center on the site.
Our final stop was the Buckman Community Composting site, located at SE 15th and Alder street. The Buckman neighborhood worked with the Village Building Convergence to build a community composting site for the neighborhood. Neighbors are able to drop off their compostable material and pick up finished compost for their own gardens. This has been such a popular amenity; the neighborhood is looking for another site for composting.
We discussed a number of issues which Buckman faces during our tour and lunch with Don MacGillvary, including the lack of green space, population density in the neighborhood, in-fill design and the lack of a grocery store within the center of the neighborhood. Our lunch and tour of Buckman was another fun and informative visit to a neighborhood. We are looking forward to our next tour in Creston-Kenilworth.
Read about our visit to Brooklyn, click here.
You can also read about our visit to Creston-Kenilworth here.