Site: St. Johns, Portland

The Central Hotel, scheduled for demolition and site of my virtual proposals. See Centering a Town: St. Johns/First Efforts for explanation and pictures.

St. Johns is in the upper left, about 10 miles from downtown Portland.

The red square marks the location of the hotel, at the corner of Lombard and Philadelphia. Both maps from Google Maps.

Lombard and the hotel in winter.

The plaza and buildings across the street.

Just behind, the police station and St. Johns Bridge.

Library spring

The St. Johns branch of the Multnomah County Library system.

Next to the library, the new home of the Cathedral Park Performing Arts Collective in a former church.

James John Elementary School, across from the library.

Shaded Lombard, a few blocks away.

Robert Kennedy addresses St. Johns in the 1968 presidential campaign. Note the Central Hotel on the left, then called “Dad’s.” Image via St. Johns Heritage Association.

Samples of nearby architecture.

The Wishing Well, on Lombard. Willie Nelson, I understand, once played here at the beginning of his career.

The library again.

Wall mural, Tienda Y Panaderia Santa Cruz, on Lombard a block away.

Signal Pizza, a converted gas station, and another wall mural.

The Restoration Outreach Community Center—a church.

The image of the bridge finds its way throughout the neighborhood.

Farmer’s market on the plaza.

Blue Collar Wrestling, an outdoor performance by the plaza.

The jazz festival in Cathedral Park.

The Union at St. Johns,  on Lombard, a few blocks away from the main intersection, was completed around 2018. Some retail space has been developed, but the corner space has yet to be let.

The Jamaica House, a restaurant also a fews blocks away—

will be torn down to build more housing, 15 units, that will not have parking space, this on a crowded street where parking is a challenge. Other complexes have been built or are planned in the area without allowance for parking as well.

Sharon Helgerson tells her story and St. Johns’s. Then age 79, she is third generation St. Johns and a former Longshoreman, once a member of ILWU Local 8. Nolan Calisch and Nina Montenegro joined to put her words up in a vacant store, part of People’s Homes, a collaborative art project. The store is across the street from James John Grade School, where Sharon began attendance in 1942. Click on the images to enlarge and read.