Superfund sites aren’t easy to turn around, but there are countless examples all over the country of these toxic places being transformed. Why can’t NW Natural summon some sense of community responsibility here? Certainly it’s not the responsibility of a utility company to act as stewards of a city or region’s most historic architeture. Yet the fact remains that a rich local company, one with a partial monopoly, is set to willfully demolish one of the most historic and beautiful works of architeture in the city. Maybe demolishing this building seems like the only plausible scenario given the contaminated nature of the site, yet I can’t help but suspect that NW Natural hasn’t really tried very hard to come up with a solution that would save the building. And if that’s the case, it means the company is not a very good corporate citizen. What they’re planning to destroy may be a contaminated building that’s sat empty for a half-century, but behind the dust is an irreplaceable part of Portland’s history and culture. In others’ hands, it might have become a renovated destination.
via Portland Architecture: Century-old Portland Gas & Coke building set to be demolished.