The mission of Preserve the Pearl LLC is to advocate for thoughtful and responsible development that protects the unique character of Portland’s neighborhoods. Portland is beloved for its charm, which combines historic streets and buildings, progressive innovation, and human-scale livability. All of these attributes draw new residents from around the United States and the world.
As Portland grows, we believe it is imperative to protect these priceless assets, because once they are gone, they are lost for good. Preserve the Pearl LLC formed when a group of Pearl residents came together to oppose the development of a 15-story apartment tower proposed on the current site – known as Block 136 – of the Portland Northwest College of Art (PNCA). Block 136 is one block from the designated historic district on NW 13th Avenue. The tower would rise to three times the height of the surrounding low-rise buildings.
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Couldn't have said it better than...
We met many Pearl neighbors who were frustrated by an inability to obtain information on the specific proposal, Portland’s development processes, and how to participate. We wanted to provide a website that collected and disseminated information, and encouraged residents to come together and make their voices heard.
Neighbors from the Pearl District, Goose Hollow, and the West End attended each of the Design Advice Request hearings to give testimony on a myriad of concerns including livability, sustainability, shadows cast on public spaces, and city design requirements that were not being met by the developer. Participation in processes such as these can be time consuming, sometimes daunting, and frequently frustrating. But it is only through this kind of public engagement that change occurs. Along the way, we have been inspired by the successes of other grassroots neighborhood groups. One of which tenaciously opposed pile driving, resulting in a quieter technique, and another that organized such a strong and unified opposition that they put a stop to the proposed rezoning that would allow development of a parking garage on a residential block of Goose Hollow, known as Block 7.
Demolition and infill