Rose Quarter Waterfront, 1977

The grain elevator pictured here is owned by the Louis-Dreyfus Commodities Co. (Yes, the same Louis-Dreyfus family of Julia Louis-Dreyfus fame!) The elevator abuts an area that the city had hoped would be developed into an entertainment district revolving around Rose Garden and a revamped Memorial Coliseum. City and civic leaders have privately suggested the facility was an impediment to the Rose Quarter’s success. In reality, the Rose Quarter is dead due to its own horrible design. Talk of moving the facility has persisted for at least 24 years. And heated up again in the mid 1990s when the Rose Garden was built. Blazers owner Paul Allen reportedly offered $5M for the waterfront property in 2001, though apparently LDC sought $21M to vacate the site. $12M was invested in expansion and modernization in 2012.

The elevator went by the name “Globe dock” for many years until being sold to Cargill but returned to former name in 1957 when LDC picked it up. Named after its original owner, Globe Mills, the facility was built in 1912 and was nearly destroyed by spontaneous explosion of wheat dust under the dock in 1960. Now informally referred to as O Dock, which may derive from the old tradition of naming docks after the street they were on, here being Oregon St.

Its persistence is an enduring reminder of the city we once were and no longer are.

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