planpdx.org: Recollections of Richard Brainard
Richard Brainard was the principal staff member of the CH2M team (led by Dick Ivey) which was hired to prepare the Portland Downtown Plan. He still practices planning and urban design in Portland, with experience overseas in more recent years. His recollections of planning in Portland in the early seventies follow.
I came to the Portland City Planning Commission from London, England. Lloyd Keefe hired me sight unseen, while I was working overseas. I worked at the Planning Bureau for 5 years and then, rather than retire as a city employee for the rest of my life, I started interviewing in other places. Lloyd Keefe was not getting anything accomplished in the planning commission office at that time. I had some projects I was trying to do and he was sitting on them. I got very frustrated and confronted him about it. I was just tired of nothing ever happening. Nothing seemed to move ahead. He challenged me that he didn't think I could get a job anywhere else, that no place else in town was hiring planners. So I went to CH2M Hill and interviewed with Lloyd Anderson. He asked me what I thought of Lloyd Keefe. I told him that Lloyd Keefe had taught me a lot in planning. I went out of the interview figuring that CH2M was not going to hire me, because I had worked at the "morgue."
Leaving the Planning Bureau for CH2M: I quit with the city as of the first of January 1969 and went to work on January 20, 1969 with CH2M. Dick Ivey was my immediate supervisor. I did a lot of small projects: the Milwaukie downtown plan, the Beaverton downtown plan, the Ontario downtown plan, a recreational study for the Reedsport area, the Multnomah County Exposition Center Master Plan and some other things. Then Lloyd Anderson told me that he wanted to use my background as a way of CH2M getting a foot in the door to do some planning in downtown Portland. It was shortly thereafter that he got asked to become a city commissioner. He came back into our office after he had gone to meet with Ira Keller and announced that he would be offered the position of City Commissioner. Somebody went out and bought champagne and we had a party after work.
Downtown Planning: So then Ivey took over and started pushing an effort to do some planning work for downtown Portland. He was working with Craig Kelly who was then, I believe, the staff person for the Building Owners' and Managers' Association. The Building Owners' and Managers' Association had a break-up in their membership. Part of the membership went one direction and part went another direction. The ones who went the other direction took Craig Kelly with them and formed a new group which, ultimately became the Portland Improvement Committee. Craig Kelly moved to the American Bank Building, to the Office of Brewster, Scholls, Bailey and Burnett, who were property people, like Norris, Beggs and Simpson. They were the big ones in Portland at that time, and they had a lot of connections. Bill Brewster was Craig Kelly's guardian angel in all of this. Ivey worked with Craig Kelly, who happened to live in the Dunthorpe area, just down the street. The two of them concocted a scheme whereby the group would try to get some money together to hire CH2M to help with some planning in downtown Portland. All of this started because of the development proposal for the parking garage on the Meier & Frank block in about 1968. The planning commission office (Dick Lakeman was the staff person assigned to the project) wrote a report approving the design of the parking garage for the block. He and Lloyd Keefe were going to take it to the planning commission and city council for approval. Why Lloyd Keefe was going along with this, I haven't the foggiest idea because it had always been Lloyd Keefe's idea that that square (with a two-level parking deck on it run by Union Oil Co. under a lease from Meier & Frank) should be a central park in the city. He had Bob Frasca (when Bob Frasca was a student in college) come work for the planning commission one summer. His job was to do some drawings for the square. The next Summer Greg Baldwin, who was a student, came to work for the planning bureau and Lloyd Keefe gave him the same assignment and he drew a scheme for the square. Rod O'Hiser has all of these drawings somewhere. The next year I came and one of my assignments was the downtown planning area, but nothing ever seemed to happen or come of it. Lloyd Keefe would never make any assignments, never say that he wanted anybody to get started on doing a plan. But it was always in his work program, every year. He always had other things for people to do: zoning requests, all the odds and ends stuff. So we really never did any planning. I don't recall whether it did get approved or not, but it went to city council and the council denied it. I presume they denied it based on a number of important people in the city who said don't do it. We don't want a parking garage on the old Portland Hotel site in the middle of downtown Portland. The newspapers, I recall, made some comment that a bunch of ladies from Portland Heights said they would cancel their Meier & Frank charge cards if Meier and Frank persisted in promoting this parking garage. It was quietly dropped when the council denied the conditional use permit. Now, that's hearsay and recollection. I don't know if it's really the truth or not.
Mass Transit in Portland: About the same time transit was becoming a big deal in Portland. The state highway commission... Glenn Jackson was the Chairman... they decided that they were going to do a transportation plan for the Portland metropolitan area--PVMTS, Portland Vancouver Metropolitan Transportation Study. There was a committee made up of a number of people in the area representing governments in Vancouver, in Portland and people from the metropolitan planning association which is now called Metro (back then it was a study group of 6 or 8 people)--maybe it was CRAG by that time
This PVMTS group with people from the highway department also on it, decided they would do a plan for the area, for mass transit and for highway transportation. Later, Glenn Jackson said let's add a circulation and parking study for downtown Portland, to accomplish what the city council wanted when the parking garage was turned down. Wilbur Smith and Associates had been hired by the PVMTS group to prepare a mass transportation study for the region. They proposed a subway tunnel through downtown Portland, underneath fifth avenue. I gave my copy of that to the Oregon Historical Society some years ago. That was the big thing that came out of it, but then it died because everybody said we could never spend that kind of money to put in a subway system under downtown Portland. Then the Oregon highway department hired DeLeuw-Cather to do all of these transportation plans. They did the regional transportation plan for automobile traffic and they did one for mass transit.
Harbor Drive: Then the issue of Harbor Drive came up. A group of local citizens started a grass roots campaign to create a waterfront park. It included Bob and Allison Belcher. I don't know who else. I know the Belchers were sort of the guiding hand behind it. They would have picnics down there ever so often. Ira Keller, who was the chairman of the Portland Development Commission, decided that he would hire somebody to do a plan for the Harbor Drive area to create a better waterfront park area. He hired Bob Perron to do a plan for the Harbor Drive area. Bob Perron did a cut and cover plan where Harbor Drive was depressed and you had big broad concrete pads that went over with planters as waterfront park. I'm not quite sure why, but Ira Keller didn't like the plan and he fired Bob Perron because it was too expensive and too grandiose. Perron did something more grand than what Ira Keller wanted him to do.
I remember in the winter of 1964, Rod O'Hiser and I went down to the harbor wall, during the big 1964 flood that backed up into the Willamette from the Columbia. We were actually able to lean over the harbor wall down at the foot of Main Street and touch the water, it was that high. The water was all the way up to ground level down at Waterfront Park. Harbor Drive was closed because it was completely flooded. There was a big dip between the sea wall and the Journal building that was completely flooded. Most of the area north of Burnside was flooded as well. And all of the Guilds Lake industrial area was flooded. And the area which is now the south downtown waterfront, where all the new stuff is going in, down at the foot of Market Street, all of that was flooded, as well, all around the PP&L power plant.
South of Downtown Waterfront Plan: By this time Lloyd Anderson was on the city council and a task force was appointed by Governor McCall, to study Harbor Drive and alternatives for re-routing it and/or getting rid of it. Actually, that may have been when Ira Keller hired Bob Perron to do a plan. That sounds more logical. Rod can remember the time frame on that. I remember Ivey, being Lloyd Anderson's very best friend, they talked every day. Ivey came back to the office and wanted me to draw an alternative for routing the traffic from the steel bridge onto Front Avenue, down Front Avenue and then back onto the freeway south of Market St. I had to show two alternatives, one using Front and 1st as a one-way couplet and the other using Front Avenue as a 2-way alternative. I've got one of those drawings in my file, showing what would be vacated in one color and areas which would be new dedicated street area with another color. Ivey took that to the Harbor Drive task force meeting and gave it to Anderson and Anderson presented it. It was just one of the alternatives, nothing ever came of it, but in the end it's exactly what the Highway Department designed and built. And the issue then was whether or not all that traffic from the industrial district could, in fact, be served by a single street.
This whole idea emanated from a reported experience that Tom McCall drove over the Marquam Bridge one time coming from the airport with his administrative assistant, Ed Westerdahl, and he remarked (and this, again, is hearsay) can't we do something about the waterfront underneath this new bridge we have because this is a marvelous view of downtown and the whole west hills area. We look down and what do we have, we have junk yards and a big pile of sawdust and this freeway that runs right along the front of the downtown area. So Westerdahl put together a task force made up of the Chief Engineer, staff engineer for the highway department, Fred Klaboe, Lloyd Keefe, John Kenward and I don't know who else. They met and the task to do a plan for the area was assigned to the planning commission. This was in 1968. He came back and assigned the job to me and I did the plan for the area. It was called Willamette waterfront, south of downtown Portland. We did big display panels. I can remember taking them down to Salem and making a presentation to the committee and everybody liked it. Of course, there was no money available to do anything and Zidell and Schnitzer owned most of it. PP&L had that huge big sawdust pile that was about 6 or 8 stories high there. The area ran from Jefferson all the way down to Moody.
Lloyd Keefe felt that this should extend into the downtown area so Lloyd Keefe assigned Dick Lakeman the project of doing a plan for the area from where the Alexis Hotel is now up to the Steel Bridge. Lakeman assigned it to George Shipley and a couple of other people. So they did a plan which eliminated the Journal Building, eliminated Harbor Drive, eliminated Front Avenue.
Then the Harbor Drive Task Force was put together. It had 9 people on it: 3 people representing the city, 3 people representing the county and 3 other people. Mike Gleason was one of the people representing the county because he was the chairman of the county commission at the time. Lloyd Anderson was representing the city. Glenn Jackson was on it. Ira Keller was on it. I've got the list of names somewhere in one of my files. They met and in essence Glenn Jackson made the decision for the committee and got the committee to ratify it, saying we will close Harbor Drive. And the Highway Department will be assigned the responsibility of making connections to Front Avenue at the Steel Bridge and at the south end of Downtown.
Was Glenn Jackson making that decision on his own, or was he basically doing what McCall told him to do? I think he was doing the politically expedient thing. I think McCall said, I'd like to see Harbor Drive closed and a new waterfront park there. See what you can do to accomplish that. And Glenn Jackson said, well, the best way to accomplish that is to close Harbor Drive. The reason why they felt that Harbor Drive could be closed was because the new freeway bypass around downtown and the new Fremont Bridge would take all of that traffic. But some people at the highway department forecast massive gridlock because of it. Once Harbor Drive was closed (the barricades were put up) the next day the traffic disappeared. There was no traffic jam. Nobody could figure out where the traffic went. It just disappeared. It went into a hole somewhere. Some of it went over on Union and Grand. Some of it went on I-405. Some of it stayed on Front Avenue. And then a group of downtown people at BOMA decided that this was a bad idea, that it was going to kill off downtown, it was going to ruin business because people couldn't get into downtown anymore to go shopping. Pete Mark as I recall was one of the loudest naysayers. Stan Goodell was then the staff person for BOMA, supporting his people. They wanted to reopen Harbor Drive. It stayed closed during the whole period that we did the downtown plan.
It wasn't until 1973 and 1974 that the highway was actually jack-hammered up and carted away on boats down to St. Helen's. The state Highway Department wanted to dump it into that hole behind where the Journal Building had been, and I wouldn't let them do that. That job had been assigned to me when I took over as downtown planning coordinator and went back to work with the city in 1973. I couldn't get anyone at the state highway department to take responsibility to get rid of it, so I scheduled a meeting with Goldschmidt one day and told him the problem I was having. He called Glenn Jackson and they agreed that it would be done forthwith and would I come to Glenn Jackson's office and he would make the arrangements. I went to Glenn Jackson's office in the PP&L Public Services building. He called Fred Klaboe and he called Bob Bothman and said, "I have Dick Brainard in my office. He's going to come out and meet with you and show you on maps exactly what's to be torn up and what's to be done with the material." I met with them and I still couldn't get anything out of them. They just wouldn't move. I had to go back to Glenn Jackson again. So finally a crew met me down there one morning and we went around with spray cans of paint. I showed them what I wanted torn up, which was everything except some of the sidewalks. Their machinery got in there a couple of days later and they actually started tearing it up and barging it down to St. Helen's. That was incredible just getting that accomplished and it was coming so close, I felt, to the point where Stan Goodell and his BOMA group were going to get the highway reopened. I felt that time was really an important factor at this point, because the highway had sat there unused for 3 or 4 years from 1969 to 1974. There was a lot of agitation to reopen it. So that's the story of the Harbor Drive Task Force. The Task Force decided to remove Harbor Drive. The member governments ratified their decision.
All these dynamics were going on at the same time, the waterfront task force, the issue about parking in downtown, the transit study that DeLeuw-Cather was doing for the region... DeLeuw-Cather had an engineer, Carl Buttke, who really understood traffic and mass transit planning. But he felt that transportation, traffic, parking and circulation should set the framework for land use. Whereas Dick Ivey kept saying that land use sets the framework for circulation and parking. Land use comes first. Ivey then decided to prepare a work plan for doing a downtown plan and taking it before a group of people that was being put together partly by Craig Kelly. Craig Kelly was having problems in his life, having been moved aside in his job as the head of BOMA. He committed suicide, either late in 1969 or early in 1970. But Ivey persevered with Bill Brewster. Brewster brought together people like Paul Murphy, Glenn Jackson, Bill Roberts, Ira Keller, Ralph Voss from First National Bank and somebody from US Bank and Frank Warren, Sr. from PGE. Glenn Jackson wore two hats--the highway department and PP&L. Ivey made a presentation to them. He had asked me to prepare a work program for doing a downtown plan. It was a pretty skimpy thing. I started by doing the typical thing that a planner does, everything in the kitchen sink, we've got to study this and study that. Ivey just started cutting through all this and said, Dick, just write a 3-page thing, something that these people will read. He said if it's a long thing they're not going to read it and they're not going to be interested in doing it. So I did a little 3-page work outline. Judy Galantha had just come to work for CH2M and did a little map for me. Ivey took these materials to this group, presented it and they said, all right, we will come together and get money out of the downtown property owners and business interests for you to do the plan, and how much will it be? We wanted, like, a hundred and twenty thousand dollars and they came up with $80,000. They didn't want to pay all of it. I don't know why. They just felt like they didn't want to come up with the money. In the end, they did and they also came up with another thirty thousand dollars after the planning study was done so we could do an implementation program in 1972.
So anyway Ivey carried the ball and got CH2M a job out of this. About the same time Ivey hired a guy out of Vermont. His name was Roger Osbaldeston. He was a nice guy. He was about 6'6", an Englishman. But the guy couldn't draw. He was a landscape architect and an urban planner and Ivey was going to make him the project manager for the Portland downtown plan. My nose was out of joint because I felt I was the one who ought to be doing it. Ivey told me, you've got other things to do and I need somebody who's got a big name, the out of town expert. And Roger couldn't write the work program, so that's why I ended up writing it. After that, the job came to me by default.
Anyway, so this downtown planning committee hired us to do a land use plan for downtown Portland and, as I recall, Glenn Jackson wanted an economic study as part of that, but Ivey convinced him that we didn't need an economic study, all we needed was a plan that said this is what's best for downtown.
Anyway, this downtown planning committee hired us to do a land use plan for downtown Portland. As I recall, Glenn Jackson wanted an economic study as part of that, but Ivey convinced him that all we needed was a plan that said this is what's best for downtown. So it got dropped out, which is one of the best things that happened to the downtown plan. At the same time, Glenn Jackson agreed that the highway department would hire DeLeuw-Cather, who was already doing the regional transportation study for both vehicle circulation and for transit circulation and they were also doing the Harbor Drive study for another hundred thousand or so. And he hired them to do a downtown circulation study and a downtown parking study, two separate studies, for another hundred thousand dollars each.
[End of Side 1, Tape 1]
At the same time, Lloyd Anderson for whatever reason, decided that he needed to have a project in his new capacity as Public Works commissioner so he hires Wulf, Zimmer Gunsul Frasca and Ritter, and Royston, Hanamoto, Beck and Abbey and Larry Anderson and Company, an economics company out of San Francisco for another hundred and twenty thousand dollars to do a plan for the downtown waterfront. How that came about I don't know, but it did. Ivey and I talked about it and decided that it really was the wrong thing to do at the wrong time. Ivey said he'd talk to Anderson and so Anderson got that study put on hold. The contract had already been awarded and signed, but Wulf Zimmer Gunsul Frasca and Ritter agreed not to proceed with the study until we had done some of the downtown plan.
The AIA Civic Design Committee and the Downtown: At the time, there was no citizens advisory committee. However, the AIA had a civic design committee, which groused about things in downtown. When CH2M was hired to do the land use plan they were up in arms, how can an engineering company do planning work, why isn't it an architectural firm or the planning commission? So they were lobbying to have the planning commission do the plan. And Ken Kaji was leading the charge on that. Ken Kaji was a Japanese architect and the name of the firm was Sheldon, Kaji and something. I can remember Dick Ivey and I and Roger Osbaldeston meeting with Bing Sheldon and Ken Kaji in their office up in what is now Cisco and Poncho's restaurant up on NW Fifth and Couch. But anyway, this group of architects was beside themselves that this group of engineers was going to be doing a plan for downtown Portland. Of course, Dick Lakeman had done his legwork and was feeding these guys information and telling them how great he was and how he was the person who really ought to be heading up this downtown plan and how he would bring the architects in and he would give them part of the work and so on. You know, their interest was not altruistic, their interest was in getting business. Even though they said it was altruistic. Lakeman then conceived of putting together something called a visual survey analysis out of Kevin Lynch... Kevin Lynch in one of his books said that one way to look at a city or an area is through what he called a visual survey analysis in which you look at five elements: landmarks, nodes, edges, districts and pathways. Lakeman got his people at the planning bureau office and I think even people from some of the architectural offices to create a visual analysis survey. They came up with a big volume of a visual survey for downtown Portland. This was in the early stages of our doing the downtown plan. Dick Ivey said we had to continue meeting with these guys making them feel like they were part of the process. Back to the citizens committee. DeLeuw-Cather was working on the circulation study and the parking study although they weren't doing much on it, and they had agreed to hold off while we were doing the land use work and then they would jump in on the parking and circulation. I can remember some of our joint staff meetings. Carl Buttke and Dick Ivey would go at it over who was supposed to be setting the stage, whether circulation set the stage for land use or vice versa. They were at logger-heads sometimes.
A Citizen Participation Task Force: About the same time a group of five or six citizens was appointed to create a format for a citizens advisory committee. It was chaired by Ron Cease. Jon Schleuning was on it, and Chris Thomas was on it, although I don't know if he ever attended. Chris Thomas was on it because he worked for the firm of Kell and Alterman. Kell and Alterman were back room players in this and Kell and Alterman were good friends with CH2M and Lloyd Anderson and Dick Ivey. CH2M got a fair amount of work because of that. Citizen participation did not come into being until 1971. The report on the interim committee on participation in the downtown plan was dated March 22, 1971, to the Mayor and City Council. The members of the committee--the active members--were Isabelle Ashcraft, Jon Schleuning, Alvin Ratner and Ron Cease. The two non-participating members (who came only to a few meetings) were Jerry Pratt and Chris Thomas. We had already done a significant amount of background work by then. But the committee was appointed (according to their report) by Commissioner Frank Ivancie on Jan. 27, 1971. We had already been working on the downtown plan for a few months by then. The committee was asked to determine a means for general citizen participation in the current downtown planning effort and was requested to submit its findings and recommendations to the Mayor for city council action. They interviewed a whole lot of people and came up with their proposal for a citizens advisory committee. Out of that the two people on this interim committee who were then appointed to the actual 18-member citizens committee were Isabelle Ashcraft and Jon Schleuning. We're getting ahead of ourselves with citizen participation because it hadn't started at the time we actually started the plan.
Getting Organized for Downtown Planning: Frank Ivancie (he was in charge of the planning bureau) said that he would give a like amount of contribution of city staff that PIC was giving in dollars to hire CH2M. Lloyd Keefe said no, I won't do it. So Ivancie told Keefe that you will assign Rod O'Hiser and 2 of his planning assistants to this project. And Lloyd just said no. So Ivancie did it. He just did it. And Rod and George Shipley and John Oace and a secretary by the name of Beverly Nelson were assigned and they were to share office space with us on the 6th floor of the Boise Cascade building at the corner of 4th and Market, it's 1600 SW Market. Well, they didn't like it and Rod spent as little time there as possible. And the two planning assistants didn't want to be there. They had worked for Dick Lakeman and their loyalties were with Lakeman and Lloyd Keefe and they didn't want to participate and it was like pulling teeth.
And that's when this fellow Roger Osbaldeston, who Dick Ivey had hired, was supposed to start saying how the work was going to be done. I was assigned to other things; I wasn't even going to be working on the downtown plan. So Roger would come up to me and ask me for help in what needed to be done, and how it needed to be done. So I would take time to help do that and then finally, after not very long, I kind of just took it over and Ivey didn't say anything. He just sort of let it happen.
So Roger started working for me instead of what might have been the other way around and we started off by doing a land use survey for all of downtown. We split up in teams and the teams went out and did a land use survey on every block. And I remember Roger could not do it. He didn't understand how to do a land use survey. He couldn't go out with a map and identify land uses, building conditions, number of stories, whether it was historically significant building. I don't know why. The guy just couldn't... I think that he had trouble making decisions, that was his problem, and taking responsibility. I think that was it. Poor Roger, he tried, he really did. It was John and me and Judy Galantha and John McCormick from CH2M and John Oace and George Shipley from the city (who wanted to be together). I tried to break them up, I tried to put a CH2M guy and a city guy together. But they just wouldn't have it. The two city guys wanted to do their own thing, their own way.
Survey and Analysis: But anyway, we did a land use survey. I don't know who came up with another idea, whether it was Rodney or Lloyd Keefe talked Rodney into it. The city decided they had to do a square footage survey, that we needed to know because DeLeuw-Cather wanted to know how much of each kind of use existed. The guys at the city spent umpteen hours and days and weeks going around, getting the square footage of every building and the activity, the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) of each activity that occurred in every room on every floor. They did a lot of that using the Sanborn maps, but a lot of it they had to go into every multi-story building and walk every corridor and figure out the square footage and then, of course, when they couldn't get in to figure out the square footage they had blank spaces so I ended up spending several weekends with all of these forms they had prepared going through and estimating what the square footage was on each floor of some of these buildings, just to get numbers so Carl Buttke at DeLeuw-Cather could prepare his models so that he could give us information back about traffic circulation and parking needs. Everything was stymied, nobody could do anything because somebody else needed to do something for them.
So that was all done and then we started doing major land use maps, ground floor land use, major block land uses, and prepared one inch equals 200 feet scale maps for building conditions, opportunity maps, maps that showed impending development that we knew about, just all sorts of stuff. We could fill walls with these maps.
A Downtown Planning Coordinator, Bob Baldwin: At about the same time, Bob Baldwin was hired--actually, he wasn't hired, he was assigned from the county to be the overall coordinator. Ivey felt we needed somebody with some standing in the community to be the coordinator for all of this, sort of a manager who didn't really have to do anything except lend his presence. I guess he and Anderson must have gotten together and they decided Bob Baldwin would be a good person to do this. And it would take some of the heat off that they were getting from Lloyd Keefe. Ivey went to Bob Baldwin and asked Bob if he would be interested and Bob said , sure I think I could spare some time, but I can't do anything like this without authority from the Board of Commissioners. So Lloyd Anderson went to Mike Gleason and said can we borrow Bob Baldwin for say 20 % of his time. Mike Gleason and Lloyd Anderson were old buddies. "Anything you want, Lloyd." So they told Ivey and Ivey told Baldwin and Baldwin got called by Mike Gleason and went into his office and Mike Gleason asked Bob if he would be interested in doing this and Bob said, Sure.
Technical Advisory Committee for Downtown: So we met. And we decided--Baldwin and Ivey and me--that we needed some technical committees to participate. So we created a so-called Technical Advisory Committee made up of the City Engineer, the City Traffic Engineer, one or two people from Metro, well, not Metro, but CRAG. One of the people was Joyce Booth, who had been hired as a big guru economist. She would be our economics input. She was worthless, too. So anyway, this technical advisory committee was put together. Lloyd Keefe was on it. John Kenward from the development commission was on it. You know, a cast of 10 or 15 people.
The Staff Committee of the Technical Advisory Committee: And then there was another committee--the staff committee of the technical advisory committee. The Technical Advisory Committee was heads of departments. Then there was another committee, a working committee, in which people would actually do work assignments--the traffic engineering department, the city engineer. They would provide sewer information, street information and so on. We would meet with these committees every two weeks, I think. We'd have a meeting with the Portland Improvement Committee, we'd have a meeting with the Technical Advisory Committee, we'd have a meeting with the working group committee, we'd have our staff meetings which were the planning bureau staff (Rod O'Hiser and his assistants, CH2M staff, DeLeuw-Cather staff). We were having meetings all the time it seemed. Then we started getting these maps together and putting them on the wall. AIA, of course, would have their civic design committee meetings and we had to go to those, too. And so Rod and I would cart this big roll of maps around with us all the time, put them on the wall, and then Baldwin would stand up and say a few words and then Ivey would stand up and he'd say a few words and then I'd stand up and I'd go through the maps. It was always my job to explain all the maps and what they meant. So I really felt like I was the planner, I was preparing the plan. They were the politicians.
The Portland Improvement Committee: But it was fun, it really was. I can remember getting nervous standing up in front of the Portland Improvement Committee guys. I can remember Bill Roberts always down in the mouth, you know, "all we need is parking, we don't need all these maps and all these pictures, what we need, God damn it, we need some parking!" Pete Mark was... How can I say it nicely? The guy... he always seemed to be coming off the wall somewhere. I could never quite understand what he was talking about, what he meant. Except that he thought that the downtown was going to die on the vine because Harbor Drive was closed. The other people on the committee were astute, were good listeners. Glenn Jackson was wonderful and whenever things started to get out of control, he would bring them back into control. He wanted a plan. In years before, I grew to think with Lloyd Keefe at the planning commission that Glenn Jackson was nothing but another Robert Moses who was going to drill all of these super highways through the city and ruin the city and get rid of all the neighborhoods and we would end up with nothing. But that was the highway staff, that wasn't Glenn Jackson. Glenn Jackson was very astute and really, his heart was in the right place. He wanted the right thing for everybody but yet he was politically savvy and he knew when he could win and when he couldn't win and when he had to do what somebody else wanted. He didn't make big waves but he led by example.
Ira Keller was the chairman of the Portland development commission and probably the richest man in Oregon at the time. He was like a little Napoleon or little Caesar. He didn't come to very many of the meetings, only the first couple or three and then he disappeared. The guys from the bank, Ralph Voss and the guy from US Bank who was Earl Dressler. Earl Dressler was wonderful. He was President of the Bank, which wasn't the top job. The top job was LeRoy B. Staver who was the Chairman of the Board, but he was older and he said he was going to retire soon anyway and that it really ought to be Earl Dressler. Earl Dressler half way through the process had a heart attack and died. He was one of our biggest supporters. Frank Warren from PGE didn't come to a lot of meetings. We held most of the meetings in the office of Paul Murphy, who ran the Ladd estate.
Paul Murphy was a real nice guy. He was the Chair of the Portland Improvement Committee. He called the meetings. Well, we told him when it was time to call the meeting and then he would get in touch with all of the members and tell them to come to his office. He didn't have a lot to say. It was mainly Glenn Jackson, with Bill Roberts. And Ed Steidle from Meier & Frank, he always had a lot of comments to make. He was the May Company representative. Actually, it started out with Jack Meier but then it was just about that time the May Co. was taking full control of Meier & Frank and so Ed Steidle who was installed as the President of Meier & Frank in Oregon was then the person who came to the meetings, and not Jack Meier.
Ed Finn, the manager of Lipman and Wolfe, was great also, very astute gentleman. Understood the need for good planning. Al Aus, from Oregon Typewriter, they brought him in as representative of the smaller businesses. I can't remember now who else was on the committee. People like Doug Goodman... No, Doug Goodman was small change at the time. Bill Naito existed, but nobody knew he existed.
The Committee had no plan, themselves. They didn't know what they wanted, and they looked at CH2M and DeLeuw-Cather to tell them what they should do. I'm sure they voted to support the plan. They may not have stuck their hands up. Somebody may have said, is everybody in agreement that this is the way it ought to be and everybody would sort of nod their head yes and that would be it. That was how they voted. But Ivey made it quite clear to them, that the plan that was developed had to be their plan. It was their downtown, their property, their businesses and therefore, it had better be their plan, because otherwise it's not going to work and if it's their plan then they can go to the city and say this is our plan, we want you to implement it and make it happen. And I think they worked to get it adopted. I can't tell you now who might have appeared at the city council meetings, but behind the scenes they said yes we think it's important, we agree with this plan, and we're willing to back it. This was particularly true of Glenn Jackson, because he had a major stake in it because he had authorized hiring DeLeuw-Cather to do the circulation and parking studies.
Transportation Planning: Part of DeLeuw-Cather's work on the regional transportation study decided that all the bus traffic would focus on downtown... typical kind of transportation system. In downtown there needed to be an organized system so people could understand it. In other words, we couldn't have buses running on every street in downtown because nobody would know where to go to catch a particular bus. So it was decided, mainly by DeLeuw-Cather, that the buses should run on only certain streets.
By this time Tri-Met had been created by the state and Bill Roberts was made the chairman of the board of Tri-Met. Portland at that time had two bus systems, they had Rosie, which was owned and operated by the city and run by the union so it hardly worked. And the Blue buses which were owned by a private transportation company in SW Portland, out by Portland Community College. They had their system which ran mainly on the west side of Portland. They competed directly with Rosie on some routes. At the time I lived in an area called Brookford off SW Hamilton and I had a choice of either the blue bus or Rosie bus and so I would just go up and catch whichever one came first. And, of course, the Rose City Transit bus was always half an hour late if it ever even came, and had maybe two or three people on it. The Blue Bus would be standing room only. And it ran on time, but it only ran during rush hour, whereas the Rosie bus ran all day long, but carried no passengers. These were amalgamated together into the new Tri-Met system. And Kell and Alterman were the attorneys for helping make that happen, for Tri-Met.
Ray Kell was a major player in all of this, a personal friend of Frank Ivancie's, and a personal friend of everybody else on the council, too. The old guard Ormond Bean and Bill Bowes and Buck Grayson and Stanley Earl. Bill Bowes was the first one to die and that's when Lloyd Anderson was appointed to take his place. There was a change in the planning commission at the same time. Harry Shroufe had been the chairman of the planning commission for years and years... and the old planning commission which was pro-downtown development was run by downtown real estate types. Anyone who came in with a proposal to build something got it approved. A plan which restricted anything or said we should consider parks or greenways, no, it needs more study, Lloyd. Take it back and do more study. That is one of the reasons why I could no longer work at the planning bureau, because of the myopic approach of the planning commission at that time. They had no political support. But then the planning commission started changing.
A Changing Planning Commission: Ralph Walstrom was asked, by Lloyd Anderson, to be the new chairman of the planning commission. And he accepted. He was a developer--a real estate type--but he was smarter and had a sense of yes, things need to be done right. And then others of the old members started dropping off and new members coming on, to add a little more moxy. Rowland Rose was appointed about then and Loren Thompson and Herb Hardy came on later. I think Mildred was appointed about the same time as Ralph Walstrom, and was the vice chairman. When Ralph Walstrom quit, Mildred took over for a short period of time.
Goldschmidt came in 1972. I don't remember when Mildred came. I think it was 1973. Somewhere in that period of time they had another chairman of the planning commission. He owned a trucking company on the east side. Herb Clark was his name. Ivey and Baldwin really worked him over, and got him to do the right things. I mean, they really worked on him. So he was probably before Mildred because he was there when the plan was actually adopted by the planning commission and sent back to the Council again.
We hadn't prepared any real plan at that point. The citizens advisory committee was put together and a guy (I think his last name was Hall) was supposed to become the chairman of the citizens advisory committee. But somehow the group voted for Dean Gisvold, and this guy Hall was so incensed that he quit on the spot, as I recall, because he thought he had been promised (by Ivancie, I presume) that he would be the chairman. Ivancie would never have wanted Dean Gisvold to be chairman, not one of those activist types. Frank was anti-hippie, anti-activist, anti-neighborhood groups, anti-anything that involved citizens. I think if he had it to do on his own, he would never have had a citizens committee. He saw the political expediency in doing it and was told by Mayor Shrunk at that time that this ought to be done.
At this point, we had prepared no development concepts or proposals. It was all Inventory and analysis. I had prepared a set of goals and given these to this new citizens advisory committee for what we thought would be their looking at, tinkering and approving. Dean just said well, this is nice and threw it in the trash can. They organized their own format which was completely anathema to the planning way of formulating goals and objectives. They created task forces that weren't on the right kind of subjects. They had a waterfront task force. They had a parking task force. They had a retail task force, and an office task force. They had all these little task forces and each one then wrote their own goals and objectives in their own way. And none of them meshed. They were all sort of discombobulated. But they said, in essence, all the right things in the end and so it worked.
[End of Side 2, Tape 1]
How could such diverse groups and individuals agree on the Downtown Plan? The reason that the technical advisory committee, the citizens advisory committee and the Portland Improvement Committee could all agree on the same set of plan objectives, was because they were all brought along in the planning process and a plan was not just presented to them after it was complete; they got to help make decisions along the way. We would ask them to participate and I think that's why it worked out as well as it did. I think also that the plan was just a (as I've said) nuts and bolts plan of what exists, what are the attributes of downtown that we want to protect and build on, and what kind of other additional things do we need that we don't have, and that became the plan. It wasn't a plan for the 21st century. It was a plan for that particular time and we said that it would need to be revised and changed every few years. And we said that this plan may work for 5 years or 10 years, but that it's a plan for what we need today. So I think that was part of the reason why it was so easy for everybody to agree on it.
But any way, now we're still in 1971, the big year, and we've completed our so-called plans in rough draft and they're being trotted around and presented to everybody and everybody's generally agreeing on it and the newspaper's doing lots of articles on it, Paul Pintarich is writing all sorts of articles about it and it's really getting to be a big deal. Carl Buttke and DeLeuw-Cather are supporting us with their parking and circulation studies to some extent. Dick Ivey had to meet with Israel Gilboa and Carl Buttke on a couple of occasions and tell them that they had to prepare their plans in conformance with ours, which they didn't really want to do. And this was all supposed to be done as one big document and they balked at that. In the end, they prepared two separate documents, one a circulation study for downtown Portland, the other a parking study for downtown Portland and submitted them to their client which was the Oregon State Highway Commission, separately. We included a transportation and parking plan diagram in our Portland downtown plan which was adopted by the city council. Basically, it was the same as the work that DeLeuw-Cather did and submitted to the highway commission. But of course, the city council would be the agency that would approve or disapprove of whatever, and not the highway department although the highway department of course paid for it.
As for the process of finally getting it adopted, after the citizens advisory committee signed off on it, saying we support it, it went to the planning commission. This was after the various subcommittees of the advisory committee had submitted their goals to Dean.
What was the form of the plan when it went before the citizens advisory committee? A series of working papers and maps, mostly. The document--the so-called planning guidelines--was put together in February 1972. It wasn't actually adopted until later in 1972, by City Council on December 28, 1972 because I wrote the city council resolution. This was the document that people usually think of as the downtown plan: the goals and guidelines, the concepts and implementation program. It was initially presented to the city council in February of 1972. The City Council accepted it and remanded it to the planning commission for a detailed evaluation. And then we sat with the planning commission for months on end at special meetings going over every nut and bolt of the plan and getting then to approve the various elements in the plan, and they ended up approving the whole thing with hardly any changes in it. And then it went back to city council again. I can't recall the exact form of this submission, but I would assume that it would be the document again, the same document. But now I've got here the minutes of a meeting of City Council of September 6, 1972 with Shrunk, Anderson, Goldschmidt, Ivancie and McCready and it's a hearing on the Portland downtown plan. And after much discussion by Bob Baldwin and Dick Ivey and the commissioners, but mostly by Bob Baldwin in the transcript and Goldschmidt--it looks like no other commissioner said a word. Neil wasn't really that much involved at this point in time. He wanted to be associated with it because I think he saw it as a nice big political plus to be in support of the downtown plan.
This meeting went on all day, because now we have Dean Gisvold talking and some of the other commissioners a little bit. And somewhere down at the end, the matter was continued until September 11. But it was finally adopted by the Council, as I said, on the 28th of December, 1972, without much discussion at all. Dick Ivey took the resolution that I had written and I thought he was going to throw it away but he gave it to Lloyd Anderson and Lloyd Anderson filed it. And they voted on it and, bang. So the planning commission discussed it and then they sent it back to the Council and then the Council went over it... and Bob Baldwin again did a yeoman job of presenting it to the council on our behalf and getting them to adopt it. It was characterized as the citizens' plan, to a degree. I can't remember how Ivey and Baldwin characterized it, but they put the best possible face on it that I think they could have and it became everybody's plan then. Dean Gisvold stood up and said it's our plan. It meets the goals and objectives that we set out when we first started. The Portland Improvement Committee, whoever was representing them at the meeting, said it meets our objectives, it does what we set out to do in the beginning. The planning commission, whoever was representing the planning commission, I don't know if they said something or not, I'm sure they didn't send Lloyd Keefe, because he would have trashed it. He would have said it doesn't meet my objectives at all. And I think the AIA even supported it in the end, even though all along the way they kept bad-mouthing it, saying it doesn't go far enough, it doesn't consider the east side of the river, they felt that the center of the plan should be the river and we just didn't feel that with the time and the money and what was needed, that we just needed to focus on downtown because if you expand to the east side of the river then you have to expand to Goose Hollow and then you've got to expand to NW Portland and then you've got to expand to Lair Hill and pretty soon you're planning the whole metropolitan area.
The plan was adopted by the council and everybody cheered and the citizens advisory committee had a big party and invited everybody and we all sat around and drank champagne. ...And then implementation.
Implementation of the Plan: I had written an implementation program which was included in the plan document which identified a number of first phase projects. They weren't anything radical, they were just the first phase projects that had already been undertaken or approved to be done, but here they were all in one place and all an outgrowth of the downtown plan even though probably half of them would have happened with or without a downtown plan. You know, it was one of those incredible things where everything had just continued coming together. The air pollution situation with the Columbia Willamette Air Pollution Authority and the federal government saying that you've got to put a lid on parking to control the air quality in downtown Portland. Well, how best to do that, by putting in these peripheral parking garages, by creating a transit mall, and a number of other things that we put in, just to solve that, to meet that. So it was convenient that we had all these other things happening, and all these other requirements.
The Transit Mall Plan: Then it was shortly thereafter that Tri-Met decided to hire consultants to prepare a specific plan for the transit mall in 1972 and 1973. Wolf Zimmer Gunsul Frasca and CH2M went together and prepared a proposal to do the 5th-6th transit mall. A team of Bill Roberts, Lloyd Anderson and Rod O'Hiser (I don't know if Roger Shiels was involved yet or not; Lloyd Anderson hired Roger Shiels because he was out of work and needed a job and Lloyd said, well, gee, why don't I get Bill Roberts to hire you to be the coordinator for the transit mall and so that's how Roger Shiels got involved). They went down to California to interview Walker, of Walker, Sasaki, something or other. They had offices in Boston as well. This guy had an office up in Marin County. He put on a slide show with music and amber waves of grain and all. it was a real far-out presentation and Bill Roberts, as I understand, after a few minutes watching this said we've got to go and he got up and walked out and Lloyd Anderson followed him and Rod O'Hiser followed him and they got into the car and Bill Roberts said we aren't hiring those guys. So they hired the third team which was SOM to do it--SOM and Larry Halprin. But the landscape architect had almost no involvement in it, it was almost all SOM who did it. And you can see that by the hard edges on everything on the transit mall and the furnishings. But anyway, so that was done. The application was made to UMTA for the money, Tri-Met hired SOM to develop the plans for it.
The city council adopted a downtown clear air policy and parking lid, which included a parking lid, and set the number at some 30,000 or whatever. We liked that because that meant that people would be forced to start taking the bus, the buildings would get built without huge big parking reservoirs underneath except, of course, that never worked because they always lobbied behind the scenes.
The PGE Project: PGE was one of the first bad guys. They wanted to build a big tower right down on the waterfront and that violated the downtown plan tenet that said high density office core should be centered on the transit mall. Bob Frasca stands up and does his magic arm-waving and everything and says how we're supporting the downtown plan. But then out of the side of his mouth saying yeah, we're going to get you your high rise building right down on the waterfront where you want it, and your parking garage, too. And then, at the same time, he's doing a waterfront plan which says that the density should step down from the high density office corridor to the waterfront, so that you don't shed a lot of shadow on the waterfront area in the afternoons. The plan he came up with was awful. I don't know who drew it at their offices, but it was a bunch of boxes on the waterfront and each box or each square had an activity written into it. And that was the so-called waterfront plan. They were talking about putting buildings on the waterfront, where Harbor Drive was. They were going to build buildings. It wasn't going to be an open space, it was going to be buildings.
Moving from CH2M to the City: And then I sort of stepped away from the downtown plan, and started doing other things. I did the Eliot neighborhood planning study and urban renewal plan and some other things. And Dick Ivey went to I-505. I don't know quite why we didn't pursue additional work with the city. Bob Baldwin went back to work for the county, as the full-time planning director. Neil Goldschmidt became Mayor, and he was saying that we need to continue the effort on the downtown plan. He wanted Bob Baldwin to stay on as coordinator. Bob said, No, I don't have the time nor the energy to do it. Hire Dick Brainard. And then Neil hired Gary Stout and told Gary Stout to interview me. Bob Baldwin came to me and said I think you should apply for the position. They would be interested in having you do it, for continuity's sake. And so I was interviewed by Gary Stout and hr says, let's go up and see Neil. Here's Stout with his pipe spewing out stuff... And we go in and sit down in Neil's office. That's when Gary Stout had direct access to Neil. He could just walk in. And Gary Stout said, I feel very comfortable with Dick. I think we should hire him. And Neil said OK, when can you start. And I said, I'll give my notice at CH2M tomorrow. It would have been in August of 1973. Yeah, because we had just moved into our new house and we had a house-warming party. The development commission had also decided that they were going to hire a downtown planning manager, who would coordinate and manage the downtown plan (the second phase). Chuck Olson hired Sam Galbreath, because Sam Galbreath was a friend of his in Alaska or somewhere and was looking for a job. So he hired Sam and said, you'll come work for the development commission and you will become the manager of the Portland downtown area, which will probably be an urban renewal project. So Sam came to work like at the development commission the same week that I came to work as downtown planning coordinator in the city. And Sam's understanding was that he was going to be what I was. He was a bit put out about that. He and I and Chuck agreed that Sam would be assigned to work with me on the issues related to the development commission. Gary Stout had been hired to avoid this kind of thing but he evidently hadn't been there very long and John Kenward was, of course, trying to establish himself as being in charge. Once Gary was there and got a handle on what Neil wanted him to do, then Kenward was told that he will report to Gary Stout. They'd have staff meetings every week in Gary Stout's office. We didn't have any dividers so I sat at one desk and Gary Stout at another and that guy who did the accounting records, Doug Butler, and Gail, our secretary. We were the four people in there. And Gary Stout had a round conference table, so Pat LaCrosse who was then Kenward's Assistant Director, the two of them would come and sit there, and Gary Stout, with pipe puffing, would tell them what they were going to do and how they were going to do it. And John Kenward is scraping and bowing, because he doesn't want to lose his job and there's a new development commission that has been appointed by the Mayor and it doesn't include any of Kenward's old cronies.
I understood that my job was to coordinate and manage second phase planning efforts. I took it upon myself to take the responsibility and authority to do that. Wherever I needed assistance, I would ask somebody for their authority so I could do what I wanted to do. And, of course, Gary Stout never wanted to give that. So I would go up to the Mayor 's office, and I would talk to Bill Scott, usually. And Bill would then talk to Neil. And Neil would acquiesce and Bill Scott would then say it was OK. I would write memos to the Mayor and take it up and give it to Bill Scott. And if I felt like I wanted to that day, I would ship a copy into Gary Stout. But usually Gary Stout would end up getting it from the Mayor's office. And then he would come in and see me and say, what's this? And I would say, I just needed to let the Mayor's office know what I was doing. Rod O'Hiser and his staff were assigned to work on the downtown plan and with me. So I had Rod and two or three people, and Sam at the development commission, Andy Raubeson and Gil Lulay at the social services agency, whatever that was called. I held meetings every week at the first national bank 21st floor cafeteria and would bring all these people together so we could talk about the various things that everybody was doing so it could all be coordinated, because I felt that was my job. And I think I got a lot accomplished by doing that. Other people were off doing their own things and it never entered their mind to talk to anybody else.
Sam Galbreath, was supposed to be working on the south of downtown waterfront urban renewal project which the council had adopted in 1973, I believe. He and I sat down and wrote the urban renewal plan and Dean Gisvold, too, got into the act--the citizens advisory committee had been re-constituted by that time and Dean was still chairman but Kim MacColl and Bill Naito had been appointed to it. Alan Webber had put the names together and he had gotten a sculptor and an artist and an all new different group. Half of them didn't participate. Dean wanted to be involved because he had been assured by the city council that no urban renewal plan would be adopted without some citizen involvement and that the old way of doing things at the development commission was no longer appropriate. Sam wrote an urban renewal document which was just like all the old urban renewal documents which were 50 or 100 pages long. I took it and edited it down and re-wrote it to about a 5-page urban renewal document and Dean approved it, made some changes and that was then taken to the development commission, by John Kenward to the council and the council adopted it in 1973 or 1974. Sam also was dealing with the two Harolds, Harold Pollin and Harold Saltzman, who had tied up some of the land down there and they were promoting this grand Pacific Rim development scheme. They had hired Al Benkendorf and some other people to develop a plan for the area with buildings and so on. Of course Saltzman and Pollin were in it for the money. They saw it as lots of big buildings with lots of rent and lots of return on their buck. Mildred Schwab was on the council at that time. Harold Saltzman had been a little kid in her neighborhood, and she had supposedly said she had mothered him. She didn't see how she could get involved in approving this project. Goldschmidt was the proponent proposing that they get the project and that the urban renewal plan be changed to fit what they wanted to do. And Mildred didn't like that at all, so she ended up voting it down in the end. Well, Sam was supposed to be doing all of the organization, paper work and staff work and he just wouldn't do it. The project got turned down when Mildred voted against it and Harold Saltzman called me (I don't know, that day or the next day) and on the telephone he cried, he screamed, he yelled, he threatened me, I mean, the guy was beside himself. He talked on the phone for an hour, and I just sat the phone down. I would keep saying Hal, I've got to go. I've got a meeting. And he would keep on talking. Finally, after a long period of time, I hung the phone up and I haven't spoken to him since. He doesn't know who I am anymore, I'm sure. Thank God. I had no role in that whole project. It was Gary Stout and Neil Goldschmidt and the development commission.
But what happened... and what happened a couple of times that I heard about later on was that when Gary Stout would get his tail in the wringer, he would put the blame on me. I'm sure that he did that in this case. Harold Saltzman must have talked to him and he said it was Dick Brainard. I just bet you that he somehow moved it over to me and said it wasn't his fault, he had nothing to do with it. Talk to Dick Brainard.
On another subject, we were meeting with Pete Mark and Ed Steidle and Doug Goodman about something, parking or the square or whatever. I wasn't involved in one meeting that Gary went to and Gary and Pete Mark got into a fight, or maybe I was there, they got into an argument and Pete Mark couldn't say what he wanted to say, he got flustered, real flustered and the meeting broke up, and after that, Pete Mark was always getting me confused with Gary Stout. He would call me Gary. Well, he then told somebody that Dick Brainard was a really bad guy and had done something bad to him, and it wasn't me at all, it was Gary Stout. But somehow it had gotten twisted around. I don't know whether it was something that the Mayor's office called me up on, but I remember Pete Mark after that was not very friendly.
My relationship with Gary was not good. I put up with him, for about 15 months. I got to the point where I just said to myself is this really worth it? Do I really want to be here? Do I really want to take all the crap? Frank Ivancie had jumped all over me with regard to the Lownsdale and Chapman park blocks. The Federal Building hadn't been built yet but they owned two blocks and they were going to build a two-block long thing with a tunnel going through it for Third Street. Somehow somebody had convinced them to build a tower on one block, which they did, and create a park on the other, which became the Terry Schrunk Plaza. I was convinced by some people on the citizens advisory committee that what we needed was a study of the park blocks, of all three, so the new one could be planned in context with the other two. So I wrote a memo to Neil and I got approval from the Mayor's office to hire Bob Perron to do a study of the area, because he was doing a plan for the Terry Schrunk Plaza and for another couple thousand dollars he would include the whole area, and do a little concept landscape plan for us. Well, it had to be approved by Council and when Frank Ivancie saw it on the council agenda he called a press conference with the Oregon Journal and said that he was in charge of the Park Bureau and that he had not been consulted about this, that the Mayor was trying to run over him, that the planning staff was trying to do things behind his back and that Dick Brainard was the instigator of all of this because he was in charge of the downtown planning effort. The afternoon Oregon Journal came out with this huge banner headline about the Chapman-Lownsdale Parks trees are going to be razed and that the Elk fountain is going to be relocated. Well, I read the story and I was just livid. Rod told me about it... he said you'd better get a copy of the Oregon Journal and read it. So I did and I marched into Ivancie's office with that. And I said 'is Frank in?' and the secretary said he's busy. And I said I don't give a damn and I just walked right into his office and I threw the newspaper across his conference table. He came up to me and said, Dick, I really think a lot of you, you've done a lot of good things, I've known you for a long number of years, you're just like a son to me, I didn't mean this for you at all, it's just the way it came out in the newspaper story and it's just because of politics, because the Mayor didn't inform me because I'm in charge of the Park Bureau. And I said, Don't ever do this to me again. That was one of the reasons why I finally decided to get out.
Mildred Schwab... you couldn't get anything out of her... one day she's in one position, the next day another position. The only way I ever got anything out of her was through Paul Linnman, when he was her administrative assistant. He could talk to her. He was the only one.
And then the other person was Connie McCready. That woman... She yelled because I had authorized Royston Hanamoto Beck and Abbey to prepare a waterfront development plan as part of the Wulf Zimmer contract. When it was to be presented to council at an informal session she was out of town). You could never get her to be at a meeting when you needed her. Royston came up and he made a presentation to the planning commission and everybody in town loved the plan. She came back to town and was livid with anger for doing this behind her back. I said, I didn't do this behind your back. I wrote you memos, I told you everything that was going on, I tried to get you to the meetings, you were always gone, always busy. Jim Swenson could never get anything out of her either. He was my buffer to her.
Then another story was Rod O'Hiser and I met with the guy who was the Oregon manager of all the Nordstrom stores in Oregon, of which there was only Washington Square, Lloyd Center, and in the Pioneer Park building. We said wouldn't it be wonderful if Nordstrom relocated and built a big new department store in downtown and the logical place to do it would be right across the street. He thought it was a great idea and said you know, I'll present this at the board of directors at the next meeting, which he did. I wrote a memo to Neil about all this. Alan Webber read the memo and he came unglued, told me I had no business talking to anybody and not to say anything more about this. Of course, Neil ended up either contacting or being contacted by the Nordstrom people about building a new store. Alan was really angry that Rodney and I had done that, and that it was not our responsibility or authority to do it, it was the Mayor's and that he would take it over. All those kinds of heady crap at city hall finally got to me . Royston then offered me the job of going to work with his group. He was putting together a proposal to do the North Bonneville new town project and I was put in as Project Manager so I quit the city. Gary was mad. He said nobody quits on me. He said I fire people, but nobody quits on me. So I said, I guess you can fire me after I turn in my resignation.
We haven't even gotten to what my major job was, which was to manage all the consultants which had been hired. John Blayney, SOM, Alan, McMath, Hawkins, Robert Conrad, Lord/LeBlanc, Irving Shandler. John Blayney's job was to manage the consultants and, in addition, was doing the zoning, the development regulations. SOM was doing an urban design plan for an extension of the urban renewal area, which would be from the south of downtown waterfront up to the Skidmore Fountain area. Irving Schandler was hired to do a social policy for downtown dealing with the homeless people and housing. That's how Andy Raubeson and Gil Lulay got assigned to the project.
That probably came out of the citizens' committee. Lord/LeBlanc were hired as economic consultants, to do an economic analysis of the downtown plan. Allen, McMath, Hawkins was hired to do an analysis of historic buildings. Robert Conrad was hired to do a detailed circulation and parking study. I left all those people in the lurch when I left the city... Their work hadn't been completed. Only Allen, McMath, Hawkins work had been completed. It wasn't their fault. It was the fault of the council and the planning commission who would just never make decisions. I really felt sorry for those guys, particularly for John Blayney. I set up meetings for them and then the meetings get canceled. The parking lid was still a big issue, but people had no choice. Housing never did get resolved. That was, to me, the biggest disappointment in the whole downtown planning effort, that housing kept getting swept under the rug. Every time it would get brought up, it would get swept under the rug. I can remember talking about keeping the housing enclaves, building new housing.
Another issue that never got resolved adequately that was always talked about was the street frontage, the shops and windows on street fronts. It seemed like every building that got built turned its back on the street, even with that so-called regulation, including the city's new office building. That's the bane of so many downtowns, that they're not pedestrian-friendly and that's one of the key things. The only part of downtown that is really pedestrian-friendly is this area right around here (vicinity of Galleria), the old buildings with all the shop fronts. That's why I enjoy having my office where it is. Other things like the Ankenny St. pedestrian mall, never got done. The park blocks, turning the Park Block streets into pedestrian streets through the core area. But we did get Pioneer Courthouse Square.
That pretty much covers it. It's my memory of what may or may not have happened. I think there's a grain of truth in everything I said. Listening to other people over the years telling about their experiences has probably colored my remembrances and I probably am skewing an awful lot of things. I think that Baldwin's views and Ivey's views are probably a lot more accurate.