Friday, August 15, 2008

It's doggone hot in Portland. And I'm thinking this water tower looks pretty cool.

After work I rode the bus to the Pearl District so that I could meet Lamont at the REI store. I don't know what the temperature was, but I certainly gravitated towards the shady side of the street! Whew, it was hot! (And now, four hours later, it's still hot. The thermometer in the east-facing kitchen window reads 87 degrees, at 9:10 p.m.)

This water tower atop the Chown Pella Lofts has long fascinated me. Today I thought, "Wonder how hot that water is inside there? Wonder if there is still water in there? What am I doing out here, wondering about this, when I ought to be walking on to REI?"

So I took a couple more shots, including this closer one, and went on my merry way. The intriguing water tower appears to be made of wood, doesn't it?

Lamont and the rest of them, Lindsay, Leland and Kailey (when she can fit it in due to her work schedule) have been hiking and/or camping lately. They're getting ready for a multiple-night-trip in the middle of September. Being a mama and all, I wanted to look at the GPS-locater-thingeys. Way too often people get lost and/or hurt or some such up here while out enjoying the gorgeous Pacific Northwest. Lamont had looked at a few of them onine; REI has one that we can probably afford, as well as the subscription service to make it function the way we want it to do when they are out in the wilderness. It's called SPOT. I'm going to check with a few folks at work, to get their input, too, before we make a purchase.

Believe it or not--and Mama said she thinks she remembers it right--the weather guy reported it got to over 100 degrees here today and is forecast to do so on Friday and Saturday. Yet, while at REI I looked at the raincoats on the clearance rack! I found a Marmot, a breathable one, on sale, that fit, that had a hood, that I can layer under, that was way longer than my green Helly Hansen. So, on a day when I really wouldn't mind standing in the rain with absolutely no coat on because I know I'd get cooled off rather quickly, I bought a new rain coat. Ain't the variety of life grand?

Here's a bit about the Chown Pella building, now lofts of various size and enormous prices, at 416 NW 13th Ave: Nearly 100 years ago, Portland Hack & Dray changed its name to Oregon Transfer Company and moved into a new four-story building at the corner of NW 13th and Glisan. Business was good and a year later a company, owned by city fathers Ben Holladay, George Weidler, and William Halsey, added a six-story structure next door. The two buildings operated as one from that time on. Over many years, Coca Cola, Wrigley, National Lock, Cudahy Packing, Ponds, and others warehoused products there. This was especially convenient when the old Spokane, Portland & Seattle Railroad provided both freight and passenger service from North Bank Terminal, located just around the corner at NW 11th and Hoyt. This "neighborhood" railroad service continued until after World War I.

In 1979 Oregon Transfer Co. outgrew its space and Frank and Elenor Chown moved in their Window and Door Division of the Chown Company. Operations continued for nine years: clearly the neighborhood had begun its transformation from an industrial area to what it is today. Now, as this building begins a new life in a revitalized neighborhood, the Chown family name continues to endure. It's a landmark that sets itself apart -- Portland's Chown Pella.

I found that info at the original real estate site for the lofts. There are five for sale right now, ranging from 963 sq. ft. for $379,000 to 1,156 sq. ft. for $597,000. Need I point out that Mama and I mostly go through the Pearl District, looking, window shopping and/or dining? We couldn't ever afford to live there. Besides, we don't want to own or be responsible for all that goes with owning.


honesty said...

Love the old-time water tower. You see lots of those in NYC too.

Hey, 87 degrees sounds good to me. It's been in the high 90s and even 100s over the summer here in NC. Add humidity to that and you won't find yourself out walking anywhere.

I'm going to the REI website and check out your raincoat.

Lynette said...

You have to understand that 87 degrees as a high temperature here would be quite unusual, so for it to still be that hot after 9 p.m. is totally not Portland weather.

Lynette said...

The coat is a man's precip travel coat.