Readers Respond to the Old Bear House Above Burnside

“Old Bear House is a fantastic name for a pub. Fill it with carved wooden bears and beer!”

Oregon Zoo Bear House (Lucas Manfield)

Bears love the suburbs. We know this because of viral videos. The suburbs also love bears. We know this because voters in Washington and Clackamas counties approved a $385 million bond for the Oregon Zoo in last month’s election. Their enthusiasm was so great that Multnomah County voters’ comparatively lackluster support of the tax measure did little to drag down the final, winning result. Anyway, this is a really long way of telling you that our readers were fascinated by a recent Chasing Ghosts column about the Portland Zoo’s old, dilapidated Bear House (“Bear Down,” WW, May 22). Here are some of the super-wholesome things they had to say:

David Ferriday, via Facebook: “I wonder if the restroom and former snack bar nearby also date to the same time.”

nicollegsamson, via Instagram: “Maybe do a metal framed silhouette of the existing structure with sculptures of the old bears inside and have seating options for picnics and gatherings?”

Jon Walker, via Twitter: “This is why I’m running for City Council on a platform of implementation, implementation, and implementation. A five-year, never-completed study is insane as an asset gets more worthless and dangerous. We need basic competence.”

suzeiki, via “I vaguely remember the old Portland Zoo. You could feed the elephants over a fence. I would drop peanuts in her trunk. Also, over by the camel enclosure, one of them spit directly on my brother’s head. It remains one of the memorable days in my life.”

Bren Bren, via Facebook: “Old Bear House is a fantastic name for a pub. Fill it with carved wooden bears and beer!”

eveselonkeart, via Instagram: “Nature already took it. Let it finish. It’s beautiful.”

Mid County, via “Given how dilapidated and hazardous the city allowed it to become, it’s lost whatever historical significance it once held.

“Hopefully, they already removed the stone carvings or have plans to in the near future. Otherwise, it’s ripe to be a practice burn building for fire bureau training.”

jimfolson, via Instagram: “Another struggling indoor mall.”


In 1973, I graduated from law school having heard school-sanctioned lectures from influential lawyers that, because of hormonal imbalances, women were unsuited to practice law, and from classmates and fellow practitioners that their wife’s place was supporting them, not in the courtroom.

Undeterred, I over the next 50 years built a practice with six branch offices, while developing new programs such as the licensing of paralegals.

Last Thursday, as I read the article about Dr. Yes [”Dirty Work,” WW, May 29], I opined as I faced another day of naysayers that I would love to own one of her paintings.

On Thursday afternoon, I received an invitation to the exhibit. Not recognizing the number, I called and Phyllis answered. Knowing this to be a sign, I immediately purchased a painting sight unseen.

Originally, I intended to hang Dusty in one of my office’s women’s bathrooms, but instead I will hang Dusty in my office. He will remind me that having a sense of humor, not accepting people’s pronouncements of how I should behave and never being stopped by those who are afraid to rock the boat has produced for me, a truly satisfying journey to change the world alignment. Jody L. Stahancyk - Stahancyk, Kent & Hook Southwest Portland

Letters to the editor must include the author’s street address and phone number for verification. Letters must be 250 or fewer words. Submit to: P.O. Box 10770, Portland, OR 97296 Email:

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