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Shaw House unprotected

For those who value architecture and history, this story should be entitled “Street of Broken Dreams.”

In July 2014, I visited the John Yeon-designed Shaw House at 12800 Goodall Road. The exterior siding and much of the original interior, except for a wing added by the previous owner, was astonishingly intact. This included a pair of light sconces designed by Yeon for the house, original windows, parquet flooring and wood paneling.

It currently stands, stripped of its board-and-batten siding, amidst the empty lots that will become the 2015 Street of Dreams co-sponsored by NW Natural Gas and the Homebuilder’s Association of Metropolitan Portland.

The Shaw House, built in 1950, was the House Beautiful magazine cover story in April 1953; the article was entitled “The Age of Great Architecture.” Yeon referred to this elegant design as his “Palace style.” The house was beautifully sited on the property to capture expansive vistas of the Cascade Range. Yeon also designed, in his “cradle-to-grave” approach, extensive landscaping surrounding the house.

Although he did not earn an architecture degree or AIA certification, Yeon’s creativity and innovation contributed significantly to the development of the Northwest Regional style of architecture. He was also recognized far beyond this region. Several exhibits and publications by the Museum of Modern Art in New York featured Yeon’s 1937 Watzek House, which spurred Yeon’s international fame.

Unfortunately for our built heritage, Oregon law mandates that an historic property cannot be listed without the owner’s consent. The Shaw House is not among the 43 — yes, only 43 — protected landmark homes in Lake Oswego. Now, as undesignated historic houses are demolished or significantly altered with alarming frequency, this legislation ensures that many significant examples of our built legacy will not survive for the education and enrichment of future Oregonians.

Marylou Colver

Lake Oswego

False Spring

An early spring is a risky bet.

We hope these unseasonable buds

Know what they’re doing.

When it comes to launching projects,

Nature plays the odds

And puts her money down on things

That have come through in the past.

But pushing daffodils in January

Is an obvious long-shot,

And we’ve heard her say before,

“You can’t win ‘em all.”

James Fleming

Lake Oswego

What will delay cost LO?

I just finished reading the article regarding the delays to the LO-Tigard Water Partnership (“LO-Tigard Water Partnership seeks remedies for treatment plant delay,” Jan. 29).

Anyone who has worked with contractors knows that there are unforeseen problems and change orders are unavoidable. More details of the problem and a better explanation would be nice. An 11-month delay seems like somebody dropped the ball (big time!) somewhere, and my question is, what will the change order for this cost the City of Lake Oswego?

Lynn Guzie

Lake Oswego

Down the wrong pathway

Councilor Jeff Gudman proposed yet another big project in last week’s paper (“Consider a pathway along Willamette Shore Line,” Jan. 29). Gudman appears to be the champion of big spending — a new operations center, a new public safety center and now studying a new likely expensive bike/pedestrian path. The councilor, however, is not pushing cost control.

There has been no economic analysis of what should be included in the operations center. There has been no cost/benefit analysis of whether LOCOM belongs in the new public safety center.

Now we have a study proposal for a new bike/pedestrian path that will undoubtedly bring in expensive consultants. Stop!

A more basic question before we start: Is the tunnel that would be part of the path wide enough to safely allow for pedestrians and bikes? Are there state laws, regulations or rules that require a certain width? Does the tunnel meet those requirements?

If not, stop. Do not pass go. Do not spend $1 on the “study.” (Even if it comes from a grant, nothing is free; it is all our money).

Gerry Good

Lake Oswego

Kudos to young artists

There are four students from my Studio 84 Fine Art School that I want to recognize for their outstanding achievements for oil painting in the Scholastic Art Awards. These girls have been working outside of their busy school schedules to create art worthy of recognition in the regional competition, and I am exceptionally proud of them.

Congratulations to Laura Ayre, Wooyeon Kim, Phoebe Walsh and Claire Brown. Laura received a Gold Art Key for “Belize Breeze” and two Silver Art Keys for “Envious” and “Autumn Intertwined”; Wooyeon received a Gold Art Key for “Orange Glow,” a Silver Art Key for “Stillness” and an Honorable Mention for “Pathway”; Phoebe won a Gold Art Key for “The Beach”; and Claire Brown won a Silver Art Key for “Single Scull” and an Honorable Mention for “Madelangelo.”

The regional Gold Key works are on display at the Pacific Northwest College of Art (511 N.W. Broadway in Portland) from Feb. 5-20. The show is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. if you would like to see these terrific paintings in person. There also is a gallery of the girls’ paintings on my website, studio84fineartschool.com.

It is a true pleasure living in a community that supports the creativity and vision of its children. Girls, you are amazing kids as well as painters, and I hope you will always have some time to relax and paint. Congratulations again on your tremendous successes. I am so very proud of you.

Kirsten Vollan

Lake Oswego

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