Congress Square Plark

In his editorial in support of Question One, Mr. Eder rightly cites the legacy of the urban renewal movement as a problem with which we must contend: “The Chamber favored urban renewal that razed historic neighborhoods in Portland, took part of Lincoln Park for the Franklin Arterial and brought us the vapid redesign of Spring Street — blunders we now have to spend money to fix.”

I should like to remind Mr. Eder, however, that among the urban renewal projects which have left voids in Portland is Congress Square Plark* itself. The razing of the Dunkin’ Donuts, the creation of the plaza, and the development of the art museum were indeed an urban renewal project — indeed, it was among the last examples in the country.**

Redevelopment of Congress Square will restore the hole left in the fabric of the city and pave the way for a new park which can better interact with the street and the citizens who use it, while generating jobs and revenue for Portland.

Zack Barowitz

* Plark = Park + Plaza

** I have a poster celebrating Portland’s urban renewal projects in which Congress Square is featured.

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