April 13th, 2009 | by BEN WATERHOUSE News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Sports, City Hall, CLEAN UP

Bloggers, Architects Rally Against Memorial Coliseum Demolition

Memorial Coliseum

Mayor Sam Adams and Commissioner Randy Leonard may think tearing down Portland's 49-year-old Memorial Coliseum to make room for a new minor-league baseball stadium is a done deal. But a serious opposition has begun to coalesce.

Writer Brian Libby has penned a sports-centric protest on his blog, Portland Architecture. Today the American Intsitute of Architects sent City Council a letter condemning the proposed demolition, signed by 20 Portland architects. Another architect, Rick Potestio, addressed the inevitable environmental damage of destroying the Coliseum. A blog dedicated to saving the Coliseum, titled, appropriately Save the Portland Memorial Coliseum, has already sprung up. And developer Douglas Obletz has created a website for his editorial in the March 22 Oregonian, along with a Flickr set highlighting the building's historical importance.

Even if you, like most people I know, don't care for the building's groundbreaking design (a friend of mine recently described it, accurately, as "a glass and concrete box"), there's one obvious and unavoidable problem with destroying it: if the goal of bringing MLS soccer to Portland is, as Adams has said, is to help make Portland "the most sustainable city in the world," how can we justify tearing down an existing structure? How will removing a perfectly good building, which will release CO2 into the atmosphere and require an enormous landfill to hold the rubble, make us more sustainable?
 
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