In 1910, newly arrived Italian immigrants erected a massive warehouse at the corner of Southeast Belmont Street and 10th Avenue, which they used as a produce market. In 2002, a fire destroyed the building, which in the meantime had become home to an old-school restaurant with "pizza, steaks and Italian dinner."
The property has been empty since. Well, not exactly empty. It's been a goat pasture since 2010, when goats arrived as an urban experiment. For three glorious summers, goats grazed the pasture, delighting passersby.
Alas, the up-and-coming Buckman real-estate market has spurred a redevelopment project that will include apartments, a grocery store, a hardware store and maybe a library. The herd will soon be forced to outer Southeast's still gritty Lents neighborhood, which the Portland Development Commission has already spent close to $100 million to revitalize, without success. Though the date of the move is still unknown, the goats will make their first appearance in their new neighborhood at this weekend's Lents Street Fair. Here's who's coming to the neighborhood. (All images below courtesy of the Belmont Goats.)
CHESTER: The Capitalist
He takes everyone else's food, head-butting the others if they're in his way. He has the longest, fullest goatee of the herd, which he combs on the edges of the wooden boards of his shelter. While others graze, he sometimes stays behind on the roof of their shelter, making sure they continue their work.
DUCHESS: The Boss Lady
The "head buck" is a strong feminist; she doesn't believe in gender-specific titles. If you do not give her attention, she demands it with a head butt.
COOPER: The Daredevil
Cooper is attracted to all things dangerous. He follows anyone who has a saw or wheelbarrow in hand. He has a voracious appetite and will eat inches of your clothing.
ATHO: The Bored Kid
Atho is the teenager always looking for trouble. He doesn't sit much, preferring to stand even in the laps of his owners. He was a hormonal little one, having reached puberty shortly after being born. He was castrated at a young age. Atho just hangs around, head-butting his sister, Winter, and looking for trouble.
HICKORY: The Co-dependent Boyfriend
Hickory often stays up past 11 pm, sitting atop the herd's shelter. If the goats split up, he screams at the top of his lungs. He keeps that up for as long as it takes the herd to regroup. He's also big into rearing and slamming.
GO: Lents Street Fair, Southeast 91st Avenue from Foster Road to Reedway Street, lentsstreetfair.com. 1-8 pm Sunday, July 27.