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?