Ada Louise Huxtable – Prescient

Ada Louise Huxtable – for many years the architecture critic for the New York Times – passed away recently, and over at Portland Architecture local history expert Dan Hanekow reviews some of her thoughts on Portland.

I would be remiss if I didn’t call out this 1970 quote:

“Some day, some American city will discover the Malthusian truth that the greater number of automobiles, the less the city can accommodate them without destroying itself. The downtown that turns itself into a parking lot is spreading its own dissolution. The price for Portland is already alarmingly high. But there are no easy answers, or no American city would be in trouble.”

We’ve made some progress on this in downtown, but the issue still threatens our neighborhoods…

2 Comments

2 Responses to Ada Louise Huxtable – Prescient

  1. Bob R.
    January 17, 2013 at 1:54 pm Link

    Click through to the linked Portland Architecture article to see an amazing photo of downtown around 1970 – a stunning array of surface parking lots.

    I was born here in 1969 and probably didn’t become aware of gradual changes in development until the late 70′s, but looking at that photo really brings home the pace of change over the past 40 years. (It would be interesting to see the opposite changes occurring from the 1930′s-1960′s as buildings were replaced with surface parking.)

  2. Bob R.
    January 17, 2013 at 1:58 pm Link

    In fact, if you look closely at the left side of that photo, you can see a building in the process of being demolished… it’s between Front Ave. and the old Harbor Dr. Is that the old Oregon Journal building?

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