The Lloyd void

I had some business in the Lloyd District of Portland today. Man, that is one bleak place, even at midday on a weekday. Everybody knows it is in bad shape, but today it really struck me how bad. NASA ought to send a spacecraft there to search for signs of ancient life. We could all watch and listen on the internet.

You have your giant, largely vacant, obsolete shopping mall; a sad-looking movie theater that's slated for the wrecking ball; a couple of obsolete office buildings; a hotel tower that's seen better days; and a city park that seems to attract crime. I thought that maybe I'd see some human activity when I drove by the Residence Inn, but heck no. Marriott has abandoned it permanently. There are fences all around the property. It's being converted to apartments.

They keep putting housing in that district, but I can't imagine who would want to live there. There's a pervasive sadness to the place that's now being spiced with a danger vibe. Graffiti and garbage abound. Lots of people are living on the sidewalks in tents.

To cap off the depressing experience, the business I visited (partially boarded up after the riots) had such a "we-don't-need-you" attitude that I left without spending any money. I had to pay the city a dollar to park my car; I'll write it off as the cost of a failed expedition.

My next trip to the area will likely be for Covid vaccine at the Convention Center. At the rate we're going, that should be in time to throw in some Christmas shopping, but you wonder if there'll be any merchants left to sell me anything.

Anyway, I hope something good can still happen in the Lloyd District, but if I had to bet, I'd say it's going to get worse, and stay that way for a while before it gets better. 

It will take some smart, strong, brave leaders to pull this city out of the hole it's dug itself into. I don't know who that might be, but it certainly isn't the crew running the local government now.


  1. There can be no doubt the usual suspects can only come up with more of the exact same "model for the nation" planning notions used for decades throughout the region. But probably a worse version due to the current degradation of their make believe reality.
    They'll pretend to be crafting the Transit Oriented, Mixed Use, apartment bunker orientation to fit the unique character of the neighborhood.
    Or it will all lay fallow for decades like many of the parcels METRO and TriMet purchased at MAX stations.
    It's hard to imagine what any sort of revitalization looks like.
    The new normal is a Gucci in the Playwood (Mural) Box mall.

  2. I can't wait until the whiz-bang, all-purpose Lloyd Center homeless shelter/free clinic/job-training center/disco skating rink opens.


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