The Multnomah County Board of Commissioners have honored two men for their extraordinary contributions to the Old Town/Chinatown neighborhood.

The two men, Dean Gisvold, a lawyer, and Bing Sheldon, an architect, were ahead of their time. Gisvold started riding his bike to work more than 40 years ago and Sheldon moved his architecture firm Old Town in 1972, when it was a whole lot rougher than it is today.

But beyond those personal choices, Gisvold and Sheldon have been the bedrock upon which Old Town's dominant social services provider, Central City Concern is built. Central City provides housing, rehabilitation, health care and life skills training to addicts, ex-convicts and people trying to overcome homelessness. Central City now has a dozen Old Town buildings that provide housing for more than 1,600 people.

Sheldon was a founding board member 35 years ago the agency that Central City Concern and has served the past 26 as vice chairman. Gisvold, a relative newcomer, joined the board 33 years ago and has been board chair for 26 years. Gisvold most recently orchestrated the opening of a new downtown dental clinic, which opened in December at Central City's new medical building at NW Broadway and Burnside. 

Gisvold and Sheldon are leaving the Central City board June 30 and to honor them, County Commissioners declared June 13 "Bing Sheldon and Dean Gisvold Appreciation Day," proclaiming "our community is richer because of the vision, intelligence and diligence that Dean Gisvold and Bing Sheldon have shared with us."