RIP Les Parker Service Station

Les Parker Service Station, Multnomah, Oregon, ca. 1950. Photo by Ed Colvin.

Les Parker Mobiloil Service Station, Multnomah, Oregon, ca. 1950. Photo by Ed Colvin.

The Les Parker Service Station has been sold, and will soon be replaced by another godawful mixed use monstrosity.

Every time this happens the community gets it’s collective knickers in a twist.  Much gnashing of teeth and wailing of “why doesn’t somebody do something” ensues, but, in typical Portland fashion, everyone wailing and gnashing expects someone else to do something about it.  God forbid they should actually put some effort into preserving their community.

About twenty years ago, Multnomah Historical Association volunteers spent almost a year putting together the paperwork to have Multnomah declared a historic district.  Nobody gave a damn.  The business and building owners wouldn’t support it because they were worried about how it might affect their property rights (it would have given them massive tax breaks and access to historic preservation grants with few restrictions on how they used their businesses and buildings), and the neighborhood wouldn’t get off their individual and collective butts to lobby the business and building owners to support it.  So the charming, historic neighborhood that draws people to Multnomah to live and shop is being demolished one building at a time.

When the abomination currently nearing completion was in the planning stages, the neighborhood wailed and gnashed their teeth, but not one of them bothered to actually do anything besides show up to meetings to bitch.  It will be the same this time.

Honestly, Multnomah is getting what it deserves.

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4 Responses

  1. Roberta Jean Bauer says:

    This is so sad! Multnomah village is becoming the Pearl district.

    • timlyman says:

      It’s analogous to what has happened / is happening to Portland and Oregon in general. Everything that we loved about the area has attracted people from elsewhere who set about destroying it.

  2. Sue (Bentson) Barrell says:

    Is this the service station on the corner of Capitol Hwy and Garden Home Rd. just near the viaduct?

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